Lieberman to be served draft indictment for graft in next 24 hours
Attorney General to announce indictment against foreign minister on charges of fraud, money laundering, and breach of trust; Lieberman to be granted right to a hearing before indictment is filed.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is expected to announce Monday or Tuesday that he intends on filing an indictment against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on charges of fraud, money laundering, and breach of trust.
A draft indictment will be handed to Lieberman's attorneys and he will be granted the right to a hearing to try to prevent the indictment.
If Lieberman chooses to engage in the hearing, he will not need to resign from the cabinet. However if Lieberman passes on a hearing in order to prevent exposing his line of defense during a trial, an indictment will be served against him which may bear serious consequences to his role in the cabinet.
Over the past several weeks, Weinstein has been refining the wording of the draft indictment, which was the subject of much debate among those composing the document.
The discussion between the State Prosecution and the Attorney General regarding Lieberman's case continued for more than a year and a half, since the head of the police investigations and intelligence division, Yoav Segalovich, recommended putting Lieberman on trial.
Segalovich recommended indicting Lieberman on charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering, breach of trust, witness harassment, and obstruction of justice.
Police believe that he received more than NIS 10 million in bribes from businessmen including Martin Schlaff and Michael Chernoy. The money was allegedly laundered via a series of shell companies and fictitious bank accounts overseas.
The police also recommended indicting Lieberman for breach of trust in the case of Israel's former ambassador to Belarus, Ze'ev Ben Aryeh, who showed Lieberman secret documents from the investigation against Lieberman.
During the discussions between the prosecution and the Attorney General, it seems that they have relinquished the bribery clause, however the exact wording of the draft indictment will only be known once Weinstein makes the announcement.
Even though the term "bribery" carries more serious meaning in the public arena, the punishment for money laundering is more serious than bribery, which could be up to a 10-year prison sentence as opposed to seven.