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Weinstein seeks 3-judge panel for Liberman case
By YONAH JEREMY BOB
02/01/2013
A-G cites public importance as reason for request, despite the fact the crimes the former FM is accused of are not serious enough.
 
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein requested on Tuesday that the Jerusalem District Court president order a panel of three judges to hear the breach-of-trust and fraud case against Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman.

The case, known as the Belarus Ambassador Affair, involves allegations that the Yisrael Beytenu chairman failed to report former ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben-Aryeh for leaking information to him regarding a money-laundering investigation against Liberman, and that he helped Ben- Aryeh gain promotions in the Foreign Ministry in return.

Liberman denies the allegations.

The crimes of which Liberman is accused are not serious enough to require a three-judge panel, as more serious crimes like rape and murder do. However, Weinstein said that due to the public importance of the case, which could determine the political fate of the now ex-foreign minister and possible candidate for prime minister in some future election, the court should exercise its discretion in ordering an enlarged panel of three judges.

In recent corruption cases against former prime minister Ehud Olmert, one case in Jerusalem had three judges, while one case in Tel Aviv has had only one judge presiding.
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