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Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Avihu Shapira
Avigdor Lieberman Photo: Avihu Shapira
 
 

Indictment against Lieberman amended

Charges remain unchanged but new indictment suggests resigning foreign minister instructed his deputy Daniel Ayalon to appoint Ben Aryeh as ambassador to Latvia

Aviel Magnezi
Published: 12.27.12, 14:18 / Israel News

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday presented an amended indictment against Avigdor Lieberman following new testimonies in the case of former Ambassador Zeev Ben Aryeh's appointment.

 

While the charges of fraud and breach of trust remained unchanged, the revised indictment added details on Lieberman's involvement in Ben Aryeh's appointment.

 

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It was noted that the resigning foreign minister had instructed his deputy, Daniel Ayalon, to appoint Ben Aryeh as the ambassador to Latvia claiming he was the most qualified for the job. Ayalon will be testifying on behalf of the prosecution.

 

On Tuesday investigators from Israel Police's National Fraud Unit questioned Lieberman under caution for 40 minutes during which he was confronted with testimony by his former deputy Danny Ayalon and members of the Foreign Ministry's appointments committee.


אילון וליברמן. ניפגש בבית המשפט (צילום: רויטרס, נועם מושקוביץ)

Lieberman and Ayalon. To face off in court (Photos: Reuters, Noam Moskowitz)

 

He denied having worked directly to appoint Ben Aryeh, however the indictment suggests differently. It says that Ayalon was not well acquainted with Ben Aryeh and appointed him based on Lieberman's recommendation.

 

In a letter delivered to Lieberman's lawyers, the attorney general said, "After examining the new testimonies which suggest that MK Lieberman had a bigger role in the ambassador's appointment than noted in the original indictment it was decided to add a number of facts."

 

Lieberman said in response, "I repeat I did not break any law and that has not changed. I want this matter to be quickly sorted out in court and that is why I have already informed the Knesset that I withdraw my immunity following my resignation as foreign minister. All rumors about a plea bargain are false. The truth will come out in court."

 

Earlier this month, Lieberman shocked the political arena when he announced that Ayalon will not be included in Yisrael Beiteinu's next Knesset roster.

 

Ayalon's testimony increases the chances that Lieberman will be accused of moral turpitude which will hurt his chances of serving as a minister in the next cabinet.

 

 

 

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