Lieberman outside Supreme Court, Wednesday
Photo: Ohad Zoigenberg
Internal Security Ministry Aharonovitch with Police Commissioner Cohen
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Lieberman: This is mother of all obstructions of justice

Day after new affair joins serious suspicions against him, foreign minister files petition with High Court calling for probe into leaks from his interrogations. 'I am being warned, while the police chief reveals the details in a distorted manner,' he says

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the police on Wednesday, a day after a new affair joined the serious suspicions against him. "This is the mother of all obstructions of justice," Lieberman said, referring to a police statement revealing that he is now being probed on suspicions that he received classified information from an investigation held against him from his associate, Israel's former ambassador to Belarus.


Lieberman filed a petition with the High Court of Justice, demanding that the court order the attorney general, the state prosecutor and the police's internal affairs unit to explain why they closed the leaks case from his interrogations at early stages of the probe against him.


Asked about the new suspicions, Lieberman explained that "when I left the interrogation room, I was warned that I must not comment on any detail from the investigation and must not talk to anyone about it, and that's what I'm doing. What a surprise it was when an hour after I left the interrogation room, all the distorted details were released by the police commissioner's office.


"When the details of the investigation are published before an indictment is filed, this is a clear obstruction of justice," the foreign minister stated. "It was also released in a distorted and tendentious manner in order to pressure the State Prosecutor's Office and the public opinion… It wasn't just an obstruction, it was the mother and father of all obstructions of justice.

Filing petition (Photo: Ohad Zoigenberg)


The minister said he had demanded that the attorney general launch an investigation into the matter. "I hope a quick decision is made to launch an investigation, as there is not a more shameful disruption of justice than the one we saw yesterday," he said.


"Why are police officers suspected of committing the serious offense of leaking secret investigation material not subject to interrogation?" Lieberman asked in his petition.


He also protested the fact that the State did not ask for data on phone calls made by journalists who published details from his investigation.


Internal security minister won't intervene

The detailed document, written by the foreign minister's lawyer, Attorney Yaron Kosteliz of the Dr. J. Weinroth & Co. Law Office, concludes by saying that "there can be no doubt that the decision to close the case at the investigation early staged, without taking any basic steps, was essentially flawed and justifies the court's intervention."


Internal Security Ministry Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who is a member of Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party, refused to comment on the matter. "Upon taking office, the minister instructed the police commissioner not to brief him on investigations against public figures, especially Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman," Aharonovitch's office said in a statement.


"Minister Aharonovitch was not briefed, is not briefed and will not be briefed on the investigations," the statement added. "The law enforcement authorities must continue operating freely, professionally and independently. The final decision will be made by the attorney general."


Efrat Weiss contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 03.03.10, 10:45
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