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Avigdor Lieberman indicted for fraud and breach of trust in lesser case

JTA

December 13, 2012 | 9:32 am

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman addresses the media during a news conference in Jerusalem in this May 31, 2010 file photograph. REUTERS/Maya Hitij/Pool/Files

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman addresses the media during a news conference in Jerusalem in this May 31, 2010 file photograph. REUTERS/Maya Hitij/Pool/Files

Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein closed a 12-year investigation against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, but decided to indict him for fraud and breach of trust in a lesser case.

Lieberman had been accused of laundering millions of shekels through straw companies, including while serving as a public official, and of obstructing the investigation into money laundering.

Weinstein on Thursday announced his decision to indict Liberman for fraud and breach of trust for advancing former ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben Aryeh's position in the Foreign Ministry in exchange for information about the investigation against him being conducted in Belarus. Last spring, Ben Aryeh confessed that he received and passed documents onto Lieberman in 2008.

Lieberman previously had committed to resigning from his Knesset position if he was indicted on the main case, but never mentioned the Ben Aryeh case. It is unclear if he will be required to resign if he is convicted.

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