Lieberman grilled in laundering case

NEW YORK (JTA) – Israel’s new foreign minister was interrogated for more than seven hours in a laundering case.

The questioning Thursday of Avigdor Lieberman came just two days after his swearing-in.

The Yisrael Beiteinu leader, who a day earlier had stirred controversy with remarks that Israel was not bound by the Annapolis agreements, was grilled at an undisclosed location over suspicions of bribery, money laundering, fraudulent receipt of goods and breach of public trust.

"Lieberman answered all of the questions put to him, and will answer any future questions," Yaron Kostelich, the foreign minister’s lawyer, told The Jerusalem Post.

The interrogation was conducted by detectives from the National Fraud and anti-organized crime units. Police said the interrogation had been coordinated several days in advance, and that the questioning would resume at a future date.

Lieberman is suspected of using a Cypriot bank account registered under the name of his daughter, Michal, to launder millions of shekels in funds.

Police are believed to have amassed sufficient evidence to link Lieberman with money laundering charges, a former National Fraud Unit investigator told the Post last month.

Police also suspect Lieberman of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes between 2001 and 2004 while serving as national infrastructures minister and as transportation minister, allegedly receiving the funds from two businessmen.

Lieberman said Wednesday that while Israel is not obligated by commitments made at the 2007 Annapolis conference, which restarted peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, it must adhere to the 2002 "road map" peace plan and would adhere to its requirements scrupulously.

 

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