Lieberman confronted with evidence

FM questioned under caution for five hours by police over suspicions of bribery and money laundering.

lieberman easy now 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
lieberman easy now 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was confronted with a number of documents during his interrogation sessions with police last week, a former senior National Fraud Unit investigator told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night. Lieberman was questioned under caution on Friday for five hours by the National Fraud Unit over suspicions of bribery, money laundering, fraudulent receipt of goods and breach of public trust. Police reportedly recovered a large amount of documents, many of them banking records, in recent months as part of the investigation against Lieberman, who is suspected of using a Cypriot bank account registered under the name of his daughter, Michal, to launder millions of shekels. On Thursday, Lieberman was questioned in a marathon interrogation session spanning seven-and-a-half hours. After being read his rights and a warning, the relevant documents were either shown or read out to Lieberman, and he was asked to respond, Dep.-Cmdr. (ret.) Boaz Guttman said. "We don't know what the interrogators have in their hands. What matters most is the quality of the documents," Guttman added. After being confronted with the documents, "Lieberman has three choices: He can remain silent, confess immediately, or provide his own version of events, sending interrogators abroad to check his account," Guttman said. Guttman said the lengths of the past two questioning sessions were "nothing unusual," adding, "It's good for all sides to have the sessions concentrated. The person being questioned doesn't have to strain to remember details. This is only the beginning - 12 hours is not enough." Lieberman has petitioned the High Court to force the police to either end the long-running investigation against him or hand it off to prosecutors for a trial, and will therefore cooperate with police, as he will not want to be seen to be delaying procedures, Guttman noted. "If he is seen to be dragging his feet his case could be thrown out of the High Court," he said. Police also suspect Lieberman of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes between 2001 and 2004, while serving as national infrastructures minister and as transportation minister, allegedly receiving the funds from two businessmen. Police suspect some of the funds may have passed through a consultancy firm owned by Lieberman's daughter, as well as a company owned by Lieberman himself. Lieberman is also suspected of running personal business affairs while holding a ministerial post.