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Eban Cleared of Currency Charges

Attorney General Aharon Barak announced yesterday that former Foreign Minister Abba Eban has been cleared of charges that he had violated Israel’s foreign currency regulations by keeping bank accounts in the United States and Britain. Barak said that as a result of a thorough investigation of the matter no legal proceedings would be taken against Eban.

When the matter surfaced several months ago, Eban readily acknowledged that he maintained foreign bank accounts to cover expenses in connection with books he had written for overseas publishers. He said he had received a permit from the Treasury in 1967 to hold currency abroad. But no copy of that document was ever found although Treasury officials recalled that it had been issued.

Barak said that the case hinged on whether or not the permit put any limit on Eban’s foreign bank accounts. He said the investigation indicated that Eban genuinely believed that the permit allowed him to keep unlimited funds abroad and therefore there was no cause to institute criminal proceedings.

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