Defense attorney: State failed to prove Liberman committed a crime

On final day of trial, lawyer argues charges against former foreign minister are mere ethical violations.

Avigdor Liberman 370 (photo credit: reuters)
Avigdor Liberman 370
(photo credit: reuters)
The Belarusian Ambassador Affair case against former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday concluded with Liberman's defense claiming before the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court that the state had failed to prove that Liberman had committed a crime, or anything more than an ethical violation at most.
Liberman's lead lawyer Jacob Weinroth said that Liberman did not know the classified investigative material illegally leaked to him by Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh was a government document investigating him.
Rather, Weinroth said that Liberman thought that the note which Ben-Aryeh showed him came from a less official and questionable source, such as the Belarusian authorities or a newspaper reporter.
Weinroth said this point was important because it showed that Liberman had no criminal mental state in accepting the leaked material, in addition to having been caught by surprise by Ben-Aryeh.
Next, Weinroth said that the state had not proved that Liberman was involved in any way in helping Ben-Aryeh get a promotion as Ambassador to Latvia.
Weinroth proceeded to explain that simply because Liberman had not revealed Ben-Aryeh's crime of leaking classified information, that also did not mean he had committed a crime, as many situations of someone not reporting another person's crime are mere ethical violations.
Also, Weinroth added that most of the case against Liberman relates to violations of conflict of interest principles, noting several court cases where such conflicts were viewed as mere ethical violations and not serious enough to be the crime of breach of public trust.