Lieberman grilled by police fraud unit for 5 hours

Foreign minister interrogated for suspected money laundering, bribes for 3rd time since taking office.

lieberman easy now 248 88 (photo credit: AP)
lieberman easy now 248 88
(photo credit: AP)
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was called into the interrogation room for the third time since taking up his post, answering questions put to him by detectives from the police's Lahav 433 unit and the National Fraud Unit in Lod on Tuesday. Lieberman was questioned over suspicions of fraud, bribery, breach of public trust and fraudulent receipt of goods. A police spokeswoman said a fourth interrogation session would be scheduled with Lieberman in the near future. It is believed that during the questioning sessions, Lieberman is being confronted with a large number of documents - gathered from Cyprus and obtained from his former attorney Yoav Mani - that police believe show Lieberman laundered millions of shekels. Police also suspect Lieberman of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes between 2001 and 2004 while serving as national infrastructures minister and transportation minister, allegedly receiving the funds from two businessmen. Police suspect some of the funds may have passed through a consulting firm owned by Lieberman's daughter, as well as a company owned by the foreign minister himself. Lieberman is also suspected of running personal business affairs while holding a ministerial post. Lieberman was questioned twice previously since being sworn in as foreign minister - once on April 3 and again on April 4. Police are believed to be in the final stage of the investigation against him and are expected to pass their findings soon to state prosecutors who have been following the investigation. In the event that Lieberman is indicted, prosecutors would need to get the Knesset to remove Lieberman's immunity, and Lieberman would have an opportunity to call a hearing to convince prosecutors not to indict him. "The hearing will be drawn out - Lieberman could complete half a term in government by the time it's over," Dep.-Cmdr. (ret.) Boaz Guttman, a former senior National Fraud Unit investigator, said last month.