Ben-Aryeh denies close ties to FM

Police: "Indict ex-diplomat to Belarus for obstruction of justice."

May 25, 2010 08:34
1 minute read.
President Shimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdo

peres lieberman diplomats 311. (photo credit: Avi Yair Engel)

Former ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh refused to answer a question during an Army Radio interview Tuesday morning, with regard to whether or not Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman had read the investigation documents that the diplomat has been accused of photocopying.

Ben-Aryeh also sought to deny that he was appointed as ambassador to Belarus because he was a close confident of the foreign minister, saying "there is an effort to create the false impression that I was close friend of Lieberman which is far from the truth."

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"Lieberman established the Israeli embassy in Belarus as a service to Israel," said Ben-Aryeh.  

Police on Monday said they have sufficient evidence to recommend that Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein indict Lieberman for breach of trust in connection with suspicions that he was passed classified information by Ben-Aryeh about an ongoing fraud and embezzlement investigation.

Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post Monday that “with the conclusion of the investigation into the allegations [against Lieberman, the] Israel Police have sent our recommendation to the attorney-general to pursue a breach of trust indictment against Lieberman and an indictment for obstruction of justice and breach of trust against former Israeli ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben-Aryeh.”

In the coming days, police are expected to pass the details of the investigation to the economic crimes department of the attorney-general’s office.

Ben Hartman contributed to this report.

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