'Straw firms.' Lieberman
Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg
Eleven years after the criminal investigation against Avigdor Lieberman was launched, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said Monday a decision on whether to prosecute the foreign minister will be reached 'within weeks.'
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It is estimated that the AG will announce his decision in about a month and a half, before the next general elections are expected to be held.
In a letter to the The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, Weinstein said he was waiting to receive additional written statements from Lieberman’s defense attorney, following hearings that took place in January and February.
Last April, Weinstein announced that he was considering charging the foreign minister with fraud, breach of trust, fraud in aggravated circumstances, money laundering, and harassing a witness. According to suspicions, Lieberman, who heads the Yisrael Beitenu party, committed the acts between 2001 and 2008, during which he served as a Knesset member and minster. During that time, companies owned by Lieberman received payments of millions of dollars from private businessmen.
Police recommended that the State prosecute the foreign minister.
The Justice Ministry announced at the time that Lieberman engaged in business activities in Israel and overseas after he resigned from his position as director general of the Prime Minister’s office.
The ministry said Lieberman collected the money through straw companies he had set up in Israel and Cyprus.
Sources who are familiar with the case told Ynet that Lieberman will likely be indicted, but they could not say on which charges. "There is enough evidence to prosecute him," one source said.
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