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.

 

Supplies dwindle, strikes intensify in Syria's Aleppo

Morocco’s main secular party takes on ruling Islamists

Yemeni forces kill suspected Qaeda chief

Palestinians condemn Trump vow on Jerusalem

Famous archway collapses on Moroccan beach

Israel prosecutor general denies going easy on PM

Iran frees Iranian-Canadian academic

Rebels, civilians quit Homs under deal with regime

Oman court closes national newspaper, jails three journalists

Israel-US consortium signs $10 billion gas deal with Jordan

Closure of Palestinian pages sparks Facebook censorship fears

British FM on key visit to Turkey

Ten Turkish soldiers killed in PKK attacks

Jordanians protest over writer's murder

Moniz says Washington has met its side of Iran nuclear deal

Coalition prefers final Yemen settlement to 'short' truce

Deutsche Welle sues Turkey over confiscated interview

Iran conservatives advise Ahmadinejad to stay out of election

Moscow slams 'unacceptable' UN statements on Syria

Bulgaria court error delays trial over Hezbollah bombing

Oil prices rise modestly ahead of OPEC meeting

Qatari official banned from AFC vote

Trump says he'll recognize Jerusalem as Israel's 'undivided' capital

US, Russia split on Syria’s Aleppo carnage

Death toll from Egypt migrant shipwreck jumps to 168

Warplanes pound Aleppo ahead of UN Syria meeting

Dubai drops charges against Briton who promoted charity

Israel sentences Islamic cleric for incitement

Turkey sets precondition for joining US Raqa operation

Campaigning for parliamentary polls begins in Morocco

EU mission to train Libya coastguard faces delay

Gunman kills prominent writer on steps of courthouse in Jordan

Mosul offensive to start in ‘next few weeks’

New wave of air strikes pummels Aleppo

US, Russia trade blame for collapse of ceasefire in Syria

Hadi vows to ‘extract Yemen from claws of Iran’

Obama vetoes bill allowing 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia

Morocco asks to rejoin African Union

Air raids pound rebel-held Aleppo

Turkey arrests prominent writer brothers

Egypt shipwreck death toll rises to 133

Gulen says will return to Turkey if US backs extradition

Occupation troops shoot, wound Palestinian with knife

UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo

Iran condemns Saudi strikes in Yemen