FM files High Court petition on leaks

Lieberman cites "mother and father of all investigation disruptions."

March 3, 2010 09:08
2 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Lieberman talks to cameras 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )


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Citing the "mother and father of all investigation disruptions," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman filed a temporary injunction to the High Court of Justice on Wednesday to force the attorney general, the state attorney and the Police Investigations Division to explain why an internal investigation of  leaks in his criminal case had been closed.

It comes a day after he was questioned by police on suspicion of having received an illegal tip-off in 2008 informing him of the police’s suspicions against him and allegedly allowing him to subvert the investigation process under way at that time.

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In August 2009, police said enough evidence existed to charge Lieberman for taking bribes, fraudulently receiving goods, violating public office, obstructing justice, harassing witnesses and laundering millions of shekels using a host of shell companies and bank accounts.

Lieberman told reporters outside court on Wednesday that closing the leaks case was contrary to a 2008 High Court of Justice ruling that had ordered the police conduct an “intensive investigation” into leaks.

Sources close to Lieberman said Tuesday  that over the 14 years of investigations against him, whenever the cases were weakening, police had leaked new information to the public in an attempt to harm him.

The sources also said the fact that police had leaked the investigation an hour after it concluded merely showed that they were trying to keep the Lieberman file alive and in the public eye because “they do not have anything substantial against him.”

Lieberman’s lawyer on Tuesday asked Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate the source of the leak.

“My client presented himself to the police as requested, and answered all the questions asked,” Lieberman’s lawyer Yaron Kostelitz wrote to Weinstein. “And here, not more than an hour passed since the end of the investigation, and its details were leaked to the media by someone in the police. As a result, I request that you direct the police investigations department to open an inquiry into this leak.”

A source in Israel Beiteinu accused the police of a “witch hunt” against their party leader.

“The behavior of the police is infuriating,” the source said. “But we believe this [new investigation] won’t impact the decision of Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, who will not end up indicting him.”

MKs Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) and Haim Oron (Meretz) called upon Netanyahu to fire Lieberman, who they said was causing massive damage to the country.

Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.

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