Israeli police recommend Lieberman indictment


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli police have recommended that the state prosecutor indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on charges of breach of trust.

The recommendation to indict Lieberman for allegedly receiving classified information from an ongoing investigation against him for fraud and embezzlement was sent with the case file to the prosecutor on Monday. Police also recommended indicting a former ambassador to Ukraine, Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, on suspicion of providing the information to Lieberman. The recommendations carry no legal weight.

Lieberman was questioned in the case three months ago after Ben Aryeh confessed that he received and passed documents onto Lieberman. 

The foreign minister is suspected of laundering millions of shekels through straw companies, including while serving as a public official, and of obstructing the investigation into money laundering. Police had asked Ben Aryeh, when he served as envoy to Belarus, to help in the Lieberman corruption probe by questioning Belarus banks and government officials. Ben Aryeh is accused of turning a copy of the request over to Lieberman in October 2008.

Lieberman is also under suspicion of advancing Ben Aryeh’s position in the Foreign Ministry in exchange for the information. Ben Aryeh served as the legal adviser in Lieberman’s office until the affair came to light.

Lieberman denies any wrongdoing.

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