Israeli former diplomat admits leaking graft probe details to Lieberman
Ex-envoy to Belarus, comes forward as part of plea bargain with state; Lieberman suspected of receiving millions of dollars from businessmen between 2001 and 2008.
A former Israeli official admitted to providing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with classified information concerning his ongoing graft investigation, an indictment submitted by the State Prosecutor's Office indicated on Tuesday.
The investigation of Lieberman's alleged conduct relates to the period between 2001 and 2008, during which time various businessmen are suspected of transferring millions of dollars to companies under his control.
For part of this time, Lieberman was a private citizen, but for the remainder, he was a Knesset member and cabinet minister.
According to suspicions, Lieberman received official police and Justice Ministry investigative material in 2008, from then ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben Aryeh.
An indictment submitted against Ben Aryeh on Tuesday, the former official admitted to these charges as part of a plea bargain, which stated that for his statement Ben Aryeh would be indicted of obstruction of justice and revealing classified information.
In addition, the sides agreed to a four- to-six-month incarceration, which Ben Aryeh could convert for community service, if he's found fit, as well as to probation, the length of which will be determined by the court.
Police believe Ben Aryeh received the Justice Ministry documents via the Foreign Ministry in the summer of 2008. They contained a request for information from the Belarus authorities regarding a major investigation against Lieberman.
The envelope was stamped "secret," and contained a list of all suspicions against Lieberman, and substantial information about the evidence. The request focused on the details of bank accounts in Belarus, as well as information on the identities of the real owners of the accounts, which were mostly registered with local companies.
Ben Aryeh allegedly did not give the envelope to the Belarus authorities, and instead copied classified information and relayed it to Lieberman, who was then serving as an MK, during his visit to the country in October 2008.
In 2012, Lieberman apparently told the investigators that he was given the information but rejected it, and thus claimed he did not see it or use it.
Lieberman's associates said last night that he did not commit any wrongdoings, and that the claims were overblown.