Opposition MKs, NGOs slam A-G over Liberman verdict

Groups call for resignation of Weinstein following acquittal of Yisrael Beytenu leader on charges of fraud, breach of public trust.

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370 (R) (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370 (R)
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Two NGOs called on Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein to step down on Wednesday following Avigdor Liberman’s acquittal on charges of fraud and breach of public trust.
In explaining the reasons behind their demand, the NGOs – the Legal Forum for Israel, and Ometz, the Movement for Quality Government in Israel – cited the 17 years of investigations that had plagued Liberman without a conviction, and the fact that Weinstein had gotten heavily behind the current case, with little to show for it.
Meanwhile, opposition lawmakers called for an appeal and bashed Weinstein’s behavior from the opposite perspective, saying he had been too slow to approve filing the indictment against Liberman in this case and too timid in deciding in late 2012 to close the larger money-laundering case against the former foreign minister.
“I believe with all my heart that the judges in Jerusalem did their job and made a decision based on the proof they have, but [we cannot have a situation in which] a person disrupts an investigation abroad, an investigation that cost millions, and does not tell anyone that his ally, whom he promoted, did the same,” said opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor).
Yacimovich declared that corruption was not less problematic just because it was not criminal, and that Liberman was a corrupt person.
“I call on the attorney-general to instruct the state attorney to appeal,” she added. “We cannot let such a serious issue go without making sure to turn over every stone. The people who suffered here are the police, the State Attorney’s Office and the courts that [Liberman] tortured for many years.”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On also said she respected the court’s decision, but that Weinstein’s behavior should be examined, since he had closed the other, more serious corruption case against Liberman.
The Justice Ministry issued a short press release late Wednesday, saying Weinstein’s decision to file the indictment in the current case had the backing of the entire prosecutorial team and that, win or lose, it was the prosecution’s job to bring cases in which it believed there was a reasonable prospect for conviction.