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.

 

CIA chief not optimistic about future for unified Syria

Bloody escalation in Turkey-PKK confrontations

Tunisia parliament to sack Prime Minister Habib Essid

Arab coalition denies blocking Yemen aid

First Syria families trickle out of besieged Aleppo

Turkey jails journalists as Erdogan rebukes Western critics

Aleppo residents wary of 'death corridors'

Maternity hospital bombed in Syria's Idlib

Up to 1 million more Iraqis risk being displaced

Erdogan accuses US general of 'backing putschists'

'Traitor's graveyard' for coup plotters in Turkey

Government team says leaving UN-backed Yemen talks

Turkey says army to keep up fight against ISIS

Palestinian 'long shot' legal fight over 1917 British declaration

EU enlargement chief warns Turkey to respect rule of law

IS executes 24 civilians after seizing Syria village

French PM mulls temporary ban on foreign-funded mosques

Egypt education system under spotlight

Syria rebels prevent civilians from leaving Aleppo

Turkey widens post-coup purge to businessmen

US says will continue to consider Nusra security threat

Egypt former anti-graft head gets jail term for exaggeration

Rebels form 'supreme council' to run war-torn Yemen

France, Britain call for end to Aleppo siege

Al-Qaeda OKs breaking ties with Syria affiliate

Croatia arrests Kurdish man wanted by Turkey

Tunisian army kills two 'terrorists'

Turkey sees over 40% drop in visitors

Assad offers amnesty to Syria rebels if they surrender

Study says lack of exercise cost world $67.5 billion

Second France church attacker formally identified

Egypt Christians hope for end to discrimination with new law

HRW accuses Syria, Russia of using banned cluster munitions

Post-coup Turkey continues military shake-up

Clinton camp accuses Trump of inviting foreign spying

Morocco arrests 52 suspects planning to set up ISIS branch

Coalition opens formal investigation into Syria civilian deaths

Pope to journalists: 'World at war', but not a religious war

Turkey warns post-coup crackdown ‘not completed yet’

Egypt top Muslim cleric denounces murder of French priest

Russia denies meddling in US election campaign

Syria regime kills 16 civilians in Aleppo assault

Killer of France priest was 'Syria obsessed time-bomb'

Netanyahu defends war record after protest by parents of dead soldiers

44 dead in double bomb blast in Syria Kurdish city