Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Tuesday requested that the Jerusalem District Court president order that a panel of three judges hear the breach of trust and fraud case against Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman.
The case, known as the Belarus Ambassador Affair, involves allegations that Liberman failed to report former Israeli ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh for leaking information to Liberman regarding a money-laundering investigation against him as well as helping Ben-Aryeh gain promotions in the foreign ministry in return.Liberman denies the allegations.
The crimes alleged against Liberman are not serious enough to require a three judge panel as is required for more serious crimes like rape and murder.
However, Weinstein said that due to the public importance of the case, which could determine the political fate of the now ex-foreign minister and possible candidate for prime minister in some future election, the court should exercise its discretion to order an enlarged panel of three judges.
In recent corruption cases against former prime minister Ehud Olmert, one case in Jerusalem had three judges, while one case in Tel Aviv has had only one judge presiding.