Liberman: Corruption Scandal Timed for Elections

'The investigation was coordinated with the elections,' Liberman asserts, demanding 'satisfactory explanation' from state prosecutor.

Hezki Baruch, Cynthia Blank ,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Before Sunday's Cabinet meeting, Yisrael Beytenu Chairman, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, addressed the corruption case involving multiple members of his party

Liberman criticized the State Attorney's Office, accusing them of purposefully making an undercover investigation visible during the election campaign, in order to hurt his party. 

"The investigation was completely coordinated with the election timetable," Liberman stressed, adding the claim that there leaks during the investigation. 

30 senior figures, including Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum and former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov, both of Yisrael Beytenu, have been brought in for investigation for involvement in corruption. Many conspirators have also been detained. 

A gag order was released on the case Wednesday morning, revealing that the suspects apparently illegally allocated budgets to NPOs and different sources, transferred funds to regional council organizations, and laundered money through "straw company" fronts.

"I heard that hundreds more detainees were coming. This was a planned and well-timed maneuver. From what we have seen in the media there will be more waves of arrests and more leaks - deliberate and tendentious leaks. So this raises a lot of questions. 

In a post on his Facebook page on Friday afternoon, Liberman blamed “mysterious  forces” which, he said, always interfere in Yisrael Beytenu’s campaign before every election, "violating their right to a fair campaign."

"As far as Yisrael Beytenu is concerned - there are no elections without investigation," wrote Liberman.

"I'm certain of the innocence of all our friends, and stress again that one should not rush to decide the fate of the people,” he added.

“I also strongly reject the attempt to tarnish Yisrael Beytenu as a whole. We've known how to deal with this every time and we came out stronger; this time, too, we will come out strong and we will continue to work for the security and unity of the State of Israel.”

However, right after the corruption scandal was exposed, Liberman "played dumb" and, speaking at forum, said, "I'm not familiar with the case beyond what I heard in the news and I have nothing to add."

On Sunday, he announced his demand for a clear explanation from the State Attorney's Office, for the "deliberate investigation" that was made public during the campaign for the 20th Knesset. 

"I know the State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan; I appreciate and respect the man. I hope to hear a satisfactory explanation from him." 

Liberman also addressed a number of the detainees and the suspicious timing of their arrests, saying, "What, David Godovsky has become a ticking bomb? Dov Litvinoff was selling Israeli state secrets to the Iranians?" 



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