FM Liberman in the rain near Jordan Valley_390.
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
The Justice Ministry denied on Monday rumors that Foreign Minister Avigdor
Liberman and the State Attorney’s Office plan to open plea bargain negotiations
in the coming weeks.
“Decisions are being made about the case after
previous hearings,” the Justice Ministry spokesman explained. “It is too early
to speculate about plea bargains, and any reports on the matter are not
Media sources reported that the State Attorney’s Office sent
Liberman’s lawyers a proposed hearing in writing, in which he would have to
answer questions within three weeks, and the plea deal would come after the
answers are received.
Liberman’s office refused to comment on the
The foreign minister is under investigation for charges of fraud,
breach of trust, obtaining benefits through deceit, money laundering and witness
harassment. According to an earlier draft indictment, Liberman is suspected of
receiving millions of dollars from private business people, through straw
companies, between the years 2001 and 2008, while he was a member of Knesset and
a cabinet minister.
The foreign minister has already undergone three
hearings, and one year ago, Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein said he will
submit an indictment against him. However, the six-year investigation of
Liberman’s case is still ongoing, and no charge sheet has been
The Movement for Quality Government called for Weinstein to
explain why there has not been any progress in the case.
The NGO said it
is in the public’s interest for Liberman to be put on trial, rather than be
given a plea bargain, as he is a senior official and the court must not leave
his case unresolved.
“We need to know where this case stands, and not
just hear about it from anonymous sources and rumors in the media,” a Movement
for Quality Government spokesman said on Monday.