(JTA) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman has been told that he soon may be indicted on charges of fraud, money laundering and beach of trust.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed the Yisrael Beitenu Party leader of the possibility on Wednesday, Haaretz reported. The punishment for money laundering alone could be up to a 10-year prison sentence.
The foreign minister has the right to a hearing in an effort to persuade the attorney general not to move forward with formal charges. If he takes that option, he will not need to resign from the Cabinet. If he forsakes the opportunity, his political fate is not clear, according to the newspaper.
About a year-and-a-half ago, the Israel Police’s head of investigations and intelligence division, Yoav Segalovich, recommended that Weinstein charge Liberman. Conversations on the matter have continued since then between the State Prosecution and the Attorney General offices. Segalovich recommended indicting Liberman on charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering, breach of trust, witness harassment and obstruction of justice, according to Haaretz.
Police have alleged that Liberman was given more than $2.6 million in bribes from businessmen, which was laundered via shell companies and fictitious bank accounts overseas.
The police also have recommended indicting Liberman for breach of trust in the case of Israel’s former ambassador to Belarus, Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, who showed the foreign minister secret documents from the investigation, Haaretz reported.