First Published: 2012-11-08

 

Lieberman corruption scandal: Case threatens Israeli coalition

 

Attorney general, state prosecutor say they will make decision ‘within a month’ on whether to indict Lieberman on corruption charges.

 

Middle East Online

Alleged offences include fraud, breach of trust

JERUSALEM - Israel's attorney general and state prosecutor on Thursday announced that they would make a decision "within a month" on whether to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on corruption charges.

"A decision on whether to indict or not indict the respondent (Lieberman) is expected to be taken within a month," said a legal document sent to the High Court by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and State Prosecutor Moshe Lador.

The court submission was in answer to a petition filed by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, which had demanded that Weinstein and Lador make a long-overdue decision on whether or not to indict Lieberman before the upcoming general election on January 22.

"The State of Israel is in the middle of an election campaign and therefore there is great importance attached to this decision, which will clarify whether there will be a criminal lawsuit against Foreign Minister Lieberman or not," said Tsuriya Madad Luzon, legal adviser to the Movement for Quality Government in a statement posted on the group's website.

In April 2011, Weinstein said he was considering pressing criminal charges against Lieberman, but he has so far not made a decision.

In cases in which a government minister or a judge is suspected of criminal activity, only the attorney general can decide whether or not to press charges.

The alleged offences include "fraud, breach of trust, receiving something by deception, money laundering and tampering with a witness," a justice ministry statement said at the time.

Court papers said Lieberman was suspected of receiving "millions of dollars" between 2001 to 2008 when he served as an MP and then as a cabinet minister.

Lieberman has been investigated several times since 1996 on corruption charges, but denies any wrongdoing, claiming the police investigations are politically motivated.

He has pledged to step down as both a minister and an MP if he is charged.

Lieberman's ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party is the second largest in Israel's ruling coalition, and recently announced it would run on a joint list with the rightwing party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lieberman is running as number two on the list.

 

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

Gunmen storm South Sudan UN base killing 20

Malaysia activists: Obama you are not welcome here!

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa

Undercover New York police unit that spied on Muslims disbanded

Washington will not issue visa for Iran UN envoy

British paedophile gets 20-year sentence in Morocco

Syria army fights its way into besieged Homs

Invisible Bouteflika urges Algerians to vote

Saudi Arabia replaces powerful intelligence chief

Benflis mobilizes ‘army’ to monitor Algeria election

Syria army advances on rebel-held neighbourhoods in Homs

Egypt court bans any Brotherhood candidacies in upcoming elections

Turkey rights groups sound alarm at plan to build gay-only prisons

Kuwait coup plot video ‘neither genuine nor reliable’