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Attorney General to Announce Decision on Lieberman Indictment

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will publish on Thursday his decision on whether to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/13/2012, 3:46 AM

Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman
Flash 90

The Justice Ministry announced on Wednesday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will publish on Thursday his decision on whether to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

It remains unclear whether Weinstein's statement will also specify if Lieberman will be allowed to continue to hold public office.

As published two weeks ago on Channel 2 News, it is believed Weinstein will decide to close the major case against Lieberman, but indict him on charges of breaches of trust in another case.

The report indicated that Weinstein would indict Lieberman in the case of Ze'ev Ben-Aryeh, who was the Israeli ambassador to Belarus.

Ben-Aryeh was suspected of informing Lieberman that the Israel Police were conducting an investigation into his affairs in Belarus. During a meeting between the two, Ben-Aryeh is believed to have passed a note to Lieberman with the name of the company and the bank account that the police were investigating. Lieberman reportedly read the note and then flushed it.

The ambassador was later charged with obstruction of justice. In September he was convicted in a plea bargain and sentenced to four months of community service.

The charge of breach of trust against Lieberman is based on the Foreign Minister allegedly having acted to promote Ben-Aryeh after the incident.

In April, the Attorney General’s office indicated that the investigation into Lieberman would be “concluded in the coming weeks”, but no decision on whether to indict the Foreign Minister has been reached until now.

The police inquiry into Lieberman began in 1999 – 13 years ago – as a fruitless probe into alleged infractions of Israel's campaign financing laws. Turning up nothing, police moved onto Lieberman's business and banking practices.

In January, Lieberman was given two hearings to defend himself against the long-brewing allegations against him.

Lieberman was out of the country on an official trip and did not attend the hearing, but his lawyers presented his case in his absence.