Former Ambassador to Belarus Ze'ev Ben Arie was indicted Tuesday for obstruction of justice and failing to abide by State Service mandatory disclosure protocols, in a case related to the charges pending against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
The State Prosecutor's Office has filed a plea bargain arrangement with the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court, by which Ben Arie admitted his wrongdoing.
The parties asked the court to sanction the plea, which will impose 4-6 months of community service on the former ambassador.
The indictment and plea bargain were approved by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
According to the inducement, Ben Arie was acting as the ambassador to Belarus between 2004 and 2009. Some of his duties at the time involved acting as the liaison the Israeli and Belarusian authorities on matters of law enforcement.
As such, he was privy to sensitive information and according to State protocols, any such information must be kept in strict confidence, in order to maintain the integrity of any legal proceeding.
Ben Arie, however, failed to uphold his duties: In 2008 he was entrusted with a request by the Israeli Police, who sought the help of Belarus authorities in their investigation against Lieberman.
In October of 2008, Lieberman visited Belarus and met with the ambassador – who informed if that of the nature of the request, thus breaching protocol.
Ben Arie also provided the foreign minister with some documents regarding the investigation.
At the time when the suspicions against the former ambassador were made public, Lieberman slammed then-Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen for allegedly leaking the material to the press, calling the move "the mother of all obstructions of justice."
He accused the police of "twisting the facts in order to pressure the State Prosecutor's Office and sway public opinion."
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