Police will recommend closing Lieberman file

Lieberman was under investigation for irregularities in funding during the 1999 election.

November 8, 2006 00:07
1 minute read.
Avigdor Lieberman Israel Beiteinu 298.88

Avigdor Lieberman 248.88. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

Israel's top cop Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi announced late Tuesday that the police would present the findings of their investigation of Avigdor Lieberman, minister in charge of strategic affairs, to the attorney-general's office, together with a recommendation that the case against the Israel Beiteinu head be closed. Lieberman has been under investigation for over eight years. In recent weeks both Karadi and Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz had called for investigators to speed up the long investigation against Lieberman, who joined the coalition last week. Lieberman was under investigation for alleged illegal connections overseas and for irregularities in funding during the 1999 election. Police sources said they had examined Lieberman's relations with Austrian businessman, Martin Schlaff. Schlaff, along with the Palestinian Authority, Casinos Austria, and the Austrian bank BAWAG, was a partial owner of the now-defunct Oasis Casino in Jericho, and was also a central figure in corruption investigations against then prime minister Ariel Sharon and his sons. Lieberman's supporters have complained that the investigation has been taking too long, and that it was carried out in an illegal manner. When he was putting together the coalition, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert asked Mazuz for his opinion about Lieberman, and Mazuz responded that he didn't think Lieberman should be a minister that was responsible for the law enforcement system. Lieberman had previously pushed for the position of internal security minister, one of the ministries that Mazuz told Olmert was off-limits. Lieberman was unavailable for comment on Tuesday night.

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