Analysis: What took the A-G so long on Liberman?

A-G said he was ready to file indictments on the now-dropped charges a year ago - what happened?

By
December 13, 2012 19:56
1 minute read.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

 
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In April 2011, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein informed Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman that he was ready to present an indictment against him in the “main” case that went back more than a decade, but that he would give him a hearing to convince him otherwise.

Liberman maintained his innocence throughout.

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The compelling facts against Liberman appeared to be that there was no good explanation how his driver and 21- year-old daughter, among others, had run what had been his companies before he returned to public service, and over which he had formally renounced control.

There also appeared to be no good explanation how million of dollars in funds were funneled into these companies from foreigners without Liberman’s connections and involvement.

Next, many witnesses taking Liberman’s side had what appeared to be contradictory and nonsensical stories.

Then came the decision against the state in the Jerusalem corruption trial against former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

Also, about a month ago, the central witness in the “main” case who lives in Cyprus, the only living and locatable witness willing to say Liberman kept a connection to the companies, changed her story.

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Despite these circumstances, State Attorney Moshe Lador, head of the financial crimes unit Avia Aleph and others still wished to indict Liberman.

Ultimately, Weinstein sided with Deputy State Attorney Shuki Lemberger and the five staff attorneys who handled the nuts and bolts of the case who pushed for closing it.

Weinstein did give the standard explanation for the three years it took to decide about an indictment, on top of three years of police investigations and five years of an earlier investigation, namely that the evidence was spread in eight countries and hard to gather.

But at the end of the day, he also apologized for the delay and admitted that many would find the length of the delay unacceptable no matter the explanations.

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