A-G set to indict Lieberman, Globes reports

Charges against FM to include breach of trust, money laundering, obstruction of justice but not bribery, sources say.

By YUVAL YOAZ/GLOBES
February 17, 2011 20:14
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (AP).

Lieberman 311 AP. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is due to announce within days his decision to indict, subject to a hearing, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on charges of fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Weinstein has decided not to indict Lieberman on bribery charges, and he is still wavering over charges of fraudulent receiving.

The Attorney General's Office is scheduled to hold more meetings in the coming days on the wording of the indictment, and a decision will be announced within two weeks.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Lieberman: 'Relations with Netanyahu are intact'

The Ministry of Justice believes that one of the difficulties it will face when the official decision is announced is the need to explain why the bribery charge was dropped. However, the attitude of the participants in the meetings with Weinstein is that, while bribery is a more serious charge than fraud and breach of trust, carrying a seven-year prison sentence, compared with three years for breach of trust, the breach of trust charge is actually the more significant crime that the legislature seeks to prevent in cases of public officials. This is because the banning of bribery is aimed at preventing the receiver of bribes from facing a conflict of interests in his public position, i.e. to commit a breach of trust.

The investigation against Lieberman has lasted five years. The Economics Division of the State Prosecutor's Office has monitored the investigation since it was opened in April 2006. The Israel Police completed its investigation in August 2009, and recommended indicting Lieberman on receiving bribes, aggravated fraudulent receiving, fraud, breach of trust, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and money laundering. The police did not recommend indicting him for filing false corporate documents.

In December 2009, the State Prosecutor asked for a supplementary investigation. At the same time, discussions began between State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and then-attorney general Meni Mazuz. Mazuz was reluctant to make a decision in the case before his term expired in January 2010, and ultimately passed the decision to his successor. In the past few weeks, Weinstein has held a number of meetings on the case ahead of making his final decision. At these meetings, the police recommendation and a legal opinion by the State Prosecutor's Economics Division to accept the police's recommendation on most of the charges, were presented.

Lieberman has been a suspect for over a decade, but the current investigation began in April 2006 on the basis of information obtained by Mazuz. In January 2009, nearly three years later, the Police National Fraud Unit arrested seven suspects and conducted searches of their homes and offices. One of the arrested men was Lieberman's attorney, Yoav Meni.



The police said, "This was a complicated, multifaceted, and widespread investigation in Israel and abroad, which involved a range of investigations, that also involved international law."

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA