Decision on Liberman indictment to be made before January elections


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A decision on whether or not to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on bribery charges will be made within a month, prior to national elections, Israel’s state prosecutor said.

The decision will be made before the Jan. 22 vote, the prosecutor said Thursday, responding to a request by the country’s Supreme Court. Liberman is the head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, which merged its list of candidates with the Likud Party of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the election.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed Liberman in June that he would likely indict him on charges of bribery, fraud, money laundering, breach of trust, witness harassment and obstruction of justice. The punishment for money laundering alone could be up to a 10-year prison sentence.

If indicted, Liberman would not be able to serve as a government minister.

Police have alleged that Liberman was given more than $2.6 million in bribes from businessmen that was laundered through shell companies and fictitious bank accounts overseas.

The prosecutor’s office has said the case is complicated and that is why it has required so much time to investigate.

Liberman has asserted his innocence throughout 12 years of investigations. 

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