Watchdog: Elected officials should cut ties with Schlaff
Austrian billionaire allegedly transferred large funds to Ariel Sharon and Avigdor Lieberman.
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
Elected officials should cut off all communication with Austrian billionaire businessman Martin Schlaff, a democracy watchdog said on Sunday in a letter to Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein.The letter, sent by the Movement for Quality Government, came after Haaretz claimed last week that Schlaff transferred large funds to former prime minister Ariel Sharon and his sons, and to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, among other officials.In its statement on Sunday, the movement said, “It is not right for elected officials to maintain any kind of ties with a man suspected of being involved in bribery affairs.”The movement called on Weinstein to brief public officials on the suspicions against Schlaff and explain why ties with the businessman could not continue.In 2009, police recommended that Lieberman be indicted on bribery charges. Lieberman is suspected of illegally accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2001 and 2004 from Schlaff and businessman Michael Chernoy. Lieberman dismissed the suspicions as a politically motivated witch hunt.In April, Schlaff chose not to attend his father Haim’s funeral in Jerusalem after failing to receive assurances from police that he would not be arrested if he came to Israel.
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