Daily Israel Report

Lieberman, A-G at Odds Over Moral Turpitude

No plea bargain in Lieberman's case yet, after Attorney General says he won't give up on moral turpitude ruling.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/18/2012, 6:12 AM

Foreign MInister Avigdor Lieberman
Foreign MInister Avigdor Lieberman
Flash 90

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and attorneys for outgoing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are at odds over a moral turpitude ruling, Channel 2 News reported on Monday.

According to the report, Weinstein met with Lieberman's lawyer for discussions on a possible plea bargain in an impending indictment on charges of fraud and breach of trust. However, the meeting reportedly hit a dead end when Weinstein clarified he would not back down on requesting that the Court find moral turpitude in Lieberman's actions.

Lieberman's associates told Channel 2 that he would not agree to a plea bargain that would include moral turpitude, despite suggestions on Sunday that he would consider agreeing to such an arrangement. The associates added that in light of Weinstein's insistence on moral turpitude, there may not be a possibility of reaching a plea bargain at all. A moral turpitude ruling would prevent Lieberman from being appointed a Cabinet minister in the next government.

Giora Aderet, Lieberman's attorney, said on Monday that "there is an agreement that has the issue has to be handled quickly, and that everything must be done to hold the discussions quickly."

Lieberman wishes to reach a plea bargain similar to the one made with former Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who was convicted of perjury, that would only apply to Lieberman's current term in government, meaning he could be reappointed as a Cabinet minister after the next election.

As he handed in his resignation at the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday morning, Lieberman vowed, “I am leaving temporarily.” Once the resignation goes into effect on Tuesday, Lieberman will be replaced as Foreign Minister by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.