Ayalon: Liberman testimony full of contradictions

Former deputy foreign minister tells 'Post' that Liberman "making up fantasies in order to save his skin."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 29, 2013 20:19
2 minute read.
Former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon.

Danny Ayalon 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman's testimony in the corruption trial against him was "replete with contradictions," his former deputy, Danny Ayalon, told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Liberman is being tried for fraud and breach of trust. Authorities say the former foreign minister broke the law when he failed to report his onetime ambassador to Belarus, Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh, for showing him classified details of the police investigation that was launched against him. Ayalon testified that Liberman pressured him to approve Ben-Aryeh's appointment as ambassador to Latvia.

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Contradicting Ayalon's accusations, Liberman stated that he never met with Ayalon to discuss appointments  with just the two of them alone, neither regarding Ben-Aryeh nor any other appointments. He said that the Foreign Ministry Director-General and Head of Human Resources were always present in such meetings.

More generally slamming Ayalon's version of events, Liberman said, "Sometimes you don't know if he lives on a different planet."

Ayalon rejected Liberman's testimony, saying that, "once again," he had proved that he was not a man of his word.

"I was not the one who issued a complaint against Liberman. The case is not Ayalon against Liberman, it is the State of Israel against Liberman. Only when I was called to testify by the police and the court did I fulfill my duty. When you are in court, you tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Maybe he's not used to it, but that's the fact."

Ayalon rejected Liberman's contention that he was not a close and trusted confidant of the former foreign minister.

"I was the one he appointed to lead the sensitive dialogue between Israel and the US. He also appointed me to lead the sensitive dialogue with the Vatican," Ayalon told the Post. "In order to save his skin he is making up fantasies that are full of contradictions."

Ayalon defended himself against Liberman's criticism of him making high-profile media appearances, saying that the Yisrael Beytenu leader must understand that he does not believe in the system used in the former Soviet Union and its Communist propaganda newspaper Pravda.

"As someone who served as ambassador to the United States and served as foreign adviser to three prime ministers, Liberman has nothing to teach me about how to speak to the media."

Ayalon expressed confidence that he would be revealed as speaking the truth as the trial against Liberman continues. "There are good judges in Jerusalem and they will judge who is speaking the truth. He added that for Liberman, it is "a losing proposition to put the focus on me instead of explaining his wrongdoings."

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.


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