'Enough evidence to indict Lieberman'

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

May 25, 2010 04:16
2 minute read.
 Foreign Minister and Israel Beiteinu party chairm

avigdor lieberman 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Police on Monday said they have sufficient evidence to recommend that Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman for breach of trust in connection with 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, 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.”

My Word: Perverse Justice

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.

The investigation, which was carried out by Lahav 433, the national police investigative unit, dealt with police suspicions that in 2008 Lieberman had Ben-Aryeh 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.

Sources close to Lieberman downplay police decision

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.

Sources close to Lieberman downplayed the police’s decision, saying that their history of recommending indictments “speaks for itself,” an allusion to numerous high-profile indictment recommendations from the police that were dismissed by the attorney-general.

“There is no reason to get excited,” the sources said.

The sources added that the allegations of wrongdoing took place prior to Lieberman becoming foreign minister in 2009.

At a press conference earlier in May, Lieberman called the allegations against him “baseless.”

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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