Lieberman: I will resign if indicted


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Avigdor Lieberman said he would resign as Israeli foreign minister if he is indicted in a money-laundering scheme.

Lieberman also told his Yisrael Beitenu Party in a meeting Monday, a day after the Israeli Police’s National Fraud Unit recommended that the state prosecutor indict him on several charges, that "If I had to go back, I would do it all exactly the same."

Lieberman said he does not believe his political career will stop with the expected indictment on charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering, witness harassment and obstruction of justice.

"I will be the chairman of the party and the foreign minister for many years to come," he said. "And furthermore, in Israel’s next election, Yisrael Beiteinu will win more than 20 Knesset seats."

An investigation that has been ongoing for more than a decade picked up steam after Yisrael Beiteinu became the third largest political party in the country in last February’s elections. Lieberman petitioned the Supreme Court to speed up the probe after he became foreign minister.

"For 13 years the police have conducted a campaign of persecution against me," Lieberman said in a statement released Sunday. "As much as my political strength and the strength of Yisrael Beiteinu rise, the campaign of persecution also intensifies."

He is under investigation for establishing shell companies that allegedly funneled millions of shekels to him, continuing after Lieberman took public office. He also is accused of trying to obstruct police investigations.

Lieberman also served as a salaried employee in a company owned by his daughter, Michal, which during his three-year employment received millions of dollars from anonymous sources overseas for consulting, according to Ha’aretz. 

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