Avigdor Lieberman: ‘I do not have to resign’

By Anna Sheinman, December 14, 2012
Avigdor Lieberman on December 13 (Photo: Flash90)

Avigdor Lieberman on December 13 (Photo: Flash90)

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said there is no need for him to resign over his indictment for breach of trust.

Most of the charges made against the foreign minister have been dropped by the attorney general. Mr Lieberman was accused of money laundering, fraud and breach of trust, in incidents alleged to have involved hundreds of millions of dollars.

Following his indictment, Mr Lieberman said: “According to the legal opinion given to me, I do not have to resign.”

Senior politicians in Israel are required to stand down when indicted for ‘serious’ crimes. Mr Lieberman may not be required to resign if a court rules the charge he currently faces is not ‘serious’.

Mr Lieberman was charged with breach of trust for allegedly seeking to promote Israel’s former ambassador to Belarus, Ze'ev Ben Aryeh, without reporting that the ambassador had given Mr Lieberman information to about an investigation being conducted into the foreign minister in Belarus.

Mr Lieberman said he has been persecuted in a lengthy investigation, which he says has lasted for 16 years. "The truth is that the investigation started the second week of July 1996; from then until today, it has been one prolonged investigation and there wasn’t one day that I wasn't a target of intelligence,” he said.

Last updated: 11:03am, December 14 2012