Attorney General Struggles to Finalize Indictment in Lieberman Graft Case

It is likely that if the decision to indict Lieberman is not announced Wednesday, it will be deferred until after Passover.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein conferred with his staff and senior members of the state prosecution Tuesday on the wording of a notice to Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman regarding plans to indict him, subject to a prior hearing at which he would be given the opportunity to present his version of events on a range of corruption charges.

The legal team did not complete their discussion and are expected to resume their work today. The notice to be given to Lieberman will be released to the media.

Lieberman with rabbi - Moshe Goldstein
Moshe Goldstein

Initially, Weinstein set the end of 2010 as the deadline for a decision on the Lieberman file, but action was delayed by the prosecutors' strike. A member of Weinstein's staff later spoke of a decision by the end of February.

On Tuesday, the sense was that if the decision is not announced Wednesday, it will be deferred until after Passover.

As a decision over an indictment remains pending, preparations were underway in Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party for the opening today of its third convention since its founding. Party sources said Lieberman is expected to call for a vote at the conference on the party's demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be required to act to topple the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip.

The foreign minister is scheduled to deliver a speech that has been billed as diplomatic and political at the close of the conference. He is also expected to address the issue of a potential indictment. The foreign minister is expected to address the conference around 8 P.M. this evening, and his remarks will be carried live during the evening news broadcasts at that hour.

Until an announcement is forthcoming from Weinstein, Lieberman and his staff are projecting a business as usual attitude.