Report: A-G Won't Appeal Liberman Verdict
Channel 2 News reported on Thursday that officials in the State Attorney's Office have recommended to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein not to appeal the recent acquittal of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Last month, a three-judge panel unanimously acquitted Liberman of charges of fraud and breach of trust in the matter of the appointment of Ze'ev Ben Aryeh as ambassador to Latvia.
According to Channel 2 News, the new State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, Deputy State Prosecutor Eli Abarbanel and Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri are all of the opinion that the acquittal need not be appealed.
The report said that Weinstein has not yet decided whether to appeal the verdict, but will likely adopt the position of these senior officials.
The Justice Ministry said in response that "Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has not yet decided and any publication claiming that he has, is completely false.”
Soon after Liberman’s acuittal, there were calls from both sides of the political spectrum for Weinstein to resign.
The nature of the criticism mostly revolved around the fact that the State Attorney's Office had conducted investigations against Lieberman for 17 years, but none of them produced enough solid evidence of wrongdoing to justify a charge sheet.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu played down the criticism against Weinstein, saying that both the legal system and the Attorney General "are doing excellent and dedicated work" and that "in the end it is the courts that decide."
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also rejected the criticism against the Attorney General and said, “The law enforcement agencies and the courts act professionally in their fields, and even if one’s decision is different and even opposite from the other’s, each has a vital role in a democracy, and it is very important that we keep it that way.”