Israeli attorney general closes main corruption case against Lieberman

2012-12-13 15:16:54 GMT2012-12-13 23:16:54(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israeli State Attorney's office announced on Thursday afternoon that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will not be indicted with obstruction of justice and money laundering, but on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

The breach of trust charge refers to the allegation that he received information about a police investigation against him from then-ambassador in Belarus, Ze'ev Ben-Arye.

Lieberman was suspected of receiving millions of dollars from private business people via straw companies while presiding as a Knesset (Israel parliament) member and a cabinet member, between 2001 and 2008.

He's also suspected of receiving large sums of money from Austrian-Jewish businessman Martin Schlaf and attempting to obstruct an investigation.

In May 2010, the Israeli police recommended charging Lieberman for breach of trust, regarding a suspicion of him obtaining classified information regarding his interrogation.

Earlier on Thursday, Lieberman's political opponent Shelly Yachimovich, chief of the Labor Party, said he should resign even due to the lighter indictment charged against him.

"We will demand Lieberman to resign from his position as the law recommends," she said.

The case against Lieberman, which has been going for 12 years, faced great difficulties. Despite evidence were obtained, most of the witnesses are abroad and do not agree or are not physically fit to stand trial.

Former Abmassador Ben Arye was sentenced to four months of community service recently for passing confidential details to Lieberman.

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