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Israel indicts former foreign minister Lieberman
Published Sunday 30/12/2012 (updated) 01/01/2013 03:40
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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaks at a Yisrael Beiteinu
party conference in Tel Aviv, Dec. 13. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israeli far-right leader Avigdor Lieberman was charged on Sunday with fraud and breach of trust, allegations that prompted his resignation as foreign minister two weeks ago, justice officials said.

Lieberman, who has denied the accusations, remains head of the Yisrael Beitenu party that has formed a coalition with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party ahead of a Jan. 22 parliamentary election.

Israeli justice officials said Lieberman was indicted on charges relating to the promotion of an Israeli diplomat who had illegally given him information about a police investigation against him.

Under Israeli law, conviction on the fraud and breach of trust charges could disqualify Lieberman from holding a cabinet post in the next government.

Lieberman, who lives in an illegal settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, has stoked controversy by questioning the loyalties of Israel's 1.5 million Palestinian-Israeli citizens.

His comments have drawn accusations of racism but have also given him a large electoral following beyond his Russian-speaking base.

Earlier this month, he angered the European Union by saying it had not sufficiently condemned calls by Hamas for Israel's destruction, likening this to Europe's failure to stop Nazi genocide against Jews during World War Two.

The European Union foreign policy chief called the comments offensive and reiterated the bloc's commitment to Israel's security.

Born in Moldova, Lieberman emigrated to Israel in 1978. He became administrative head of the Likud party in 1993 and ran the prime minister's office from 1996 to 1997 during Netanyahu's first term. He left and formed Yisrael Beitenu in 1999.

Lieberman is the latest in a string of Israeli politicians to face corruption charges in recent years. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert resigned in 2008 after being indicted, though he has since been acquitted of most of the charges against him.
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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
30/12/2012 11:29
Who will be next to face corruption charges ???? Nutt-anyahu I expect! A pattern is emerging whereby Israeli politicians are either charged for corruption, fraud or RAPE either durting their term in office or after leaving office.

2 ) gHANDI / Romaia
30/12/2012 15:00
it's political.

3 ) Mel / USA
30/12/2012 18:17
A war criminal,racketeering,extremist Zionist,indicted,in Occupying Israel?
Where the name 'Israel' is synonymous with offensive collective punishment and racist aparthied against Arab nationals!
An indictment?Oooo! Is that like promotion?
Is that Israel's equivalent of the Nobel('Piece')Prize,which also seems to be the new ignoble"prestige prize"for war crimes&LIES,too?
Political musical chairs!
He'll be campaigning with war criminal Livni &her center-left"bloc" STOOGES next? Yawn!

4 ) Emile / Palestine
30/12/2012 19:31
Its like a whore house putting a prostitute on trial for prostitution.

5 ) gabi / australia
31/12/2012 00:48
and this from a country which derides other (read Arab) countries for their corruption?????

6 ) BRO / NYC
31/12/2012 14:23
MEL GET A NEW HOBBY.
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