Photo: Gil Yohanan
Avigdor Lieberman
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Police release Lieberman transcripts prior to court session

Interrogation records show former FM at his most abrasive as he dismisses credibility of suspects, interrogators

Police released Tuesday the transcripts of Avigdor Lieberman's interrogations regarding the ongoing fraud and breach of trust case involving the former foreign minister.


Lieberman's indictment focused on his efforts to promote former Israeli ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben-Aryeh, who had leaked him privileged information about a police probe pertaining to Lieberman.


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The released materials represent a single investigation session that took place in March 2010.


According to the transcripts, the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman accused his investigators as kowtowing to the press and frequently resorted to derogatory terms.


Lieberman dismissed the credibility of Ben-Aryeh as a witness, branding him as "weak of character," repeatedly dubbing him an "idiot," and saying "had I investigated him for 10 hours, I'd made him confess he crucified Jesus Christ."


Ben Aryeh, who served as the ambassador to Belarus between 2004-2009, was convicted in May 2012 under a plea bargain of obstructing justice and passing information to an unauthorized person. During a hearing at the Jerusalem District Court, he was handed a four-month sentence, which the judge converted to community service.


Investigations into Lieberman, 54, were first opened in 2001 and spanned nine countries. The more serious allegations included money-laundering and bribery, but the attorney general said there was no chance of a conviction on those.


The embattled statesman told interrogating policemen "I must say this investigation is the least interesting thing in the world to me. For you it might be a matter of promotion, medals... I couldn't care less."  


When interrogators inquired why Lieberman treated the incident so lightly, he said "When you're sitting at the Knesset cafeteria you get 10 people accosting you with all sorts of rubbish each day."


Lieberman's career depends on the outcome of the trial, as he announced that if he were convicted in any of the charges against him, he would quit politics altogether.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reserved the Foreign Ministry portfolio for Lieberman in the event the latter is cleared of all accusations against him.


The second session of Lieberman's trial will be held Thursday and the following sessions were scheduled for April 30, May 2, and May 7.



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פרסום ראשון: 04.23.13, 23:02
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