'Enough evidence to indict Lieberman'

Police tell 'Post': A-G should charge FM for illegal tip-off.

May 24, 2010 20:05
1 minute read.
 Foreign Minister and Israel Beiteinu party chairm

avigdor lieberman 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Police on Monday said they have sufficient evidence to recommend Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman for breach of trust in connection to suspicions that he was passed classified information by a former Israeli diplomat about an ongoing fraud and embezzlement investigation against him.

Israel Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post Monday that "with the conclusion of the investigation into the allegations [against Lieberman] 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 Israel ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh."

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My Word: Perverse Justice

In the coming days, the police are expected to pass the details of the investigation to the economic crimes department of the Attorney General's office.

The investigation, which was carried out by the 'Lahav 433' National Investigate Unit, dealt with police suspicions that in 2008 Lieberman had Ben-Aryeh, then the Israeli ambassador to Belarus show him classified material from a police probe of fraud and embezzlement allegations against him. Ben-Aryeh was in possession of the documents after he was given them by the Justice Ministry to transfer to Belarus authorities. He was supposed to transfer them directly to local authorities, but police allege that he passed copies of the documents to Lieberman.

At the time Lieberman allegedly reviewed the documents neither he nor any of his associates had been questioned or arrested by police.

Police have already recommended an indictment in the original corruption case. In August 2009, police announced that they had compiled enough evidence to charge Lieberman for taking bribes, fraudulently receiving goods, obstructing justice, harassing witnesses, and laundering millions of shekels through a number of shell companies and bank accounts.

Responding to the police announcement, Lieberman's attorney did not express alarm, instead comparing Monday's recommendations to similar police recommendations in the past which were rejected by then Attorney General Menahem Mazuz.

At a press conference last month, Lieberman, who was a member of Knesset during the period in question, called the allegations against him "baseless."

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