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.

Amir Oren
Amir Oren
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Amir Oren
Amir Oren

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.

Avigdor Lieberman speaking to reporters in February 2011.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

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.

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott