Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has been under police investigation for various allegations of fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and harassing a witness for the past 12 years. On Thursday, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced that Lieberman would not be indicted for any of the charges against him except for fraud and breach of public trust in one of the cases.
Here are the chronological highlights of the various Lieberman cases.
Police open an investigation into Lieberman's alleged violation of the Party Financing Law.
The conclusions of the police investigation are passed on to the State Prosecution.
Then-Attorney-General Manny Mazuz instructs police to open an investigation on the suspicion that Lieberman received millions of dollars from private businesspeople abroad, among them Austrian entrepreneur Martin Schlaff, Israeli-Uzbeki businessman Michael Cherney, and diamond tycoons Dan Gertler and Daniel Gittenstein, who allegedly funneled funds through what were suspected of being front companies and corporations owned by Lieberman.
Mazuz decides not to indict Lieberman for his alleged violation of the Party Financing Law due to lack of evidence. The same month, after a prolonged legal struggle, police investigators obtained legal access to documents they confiscated in 2007 from Lieberman's former attorney, Yoav Mani, who was suspected of having served as an accessory to fraud and breach of trust under aggravating circumstances.
Lieberman is suspected of having received an illegal tip-off from then-Ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben-Aryeh, which was said to have allowed him to subvert investigations into his conduct. He is said to have promoted Ben-Aryeh in the foreign ministry in exchange for the tip-off.
Lieberman is interrogated five times at police stations and petitions the High Court of Justice against what he claimed was ongoing police harassment. Police officials recommend his indictment in the case of the alleged front companies and the State Prosecution begins formulating its decision on the case.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, who replaced Mazuz, announces his decision to indict Lieberman on charges of breach of trust, fraud under aggravating circumstances, money laundering and harassment of a witness. Weinstein grants Lieberman a legal hearing before the indictment is issued.
After three hearings, Lieberman's attorneys convince state prosecutors that there is no justification in indicting him.
December 13, 2012
Weinstein announces that Lieberman will not be indicted in the case of the alleged front companies, but will be indicted in the case of the alleged tip-off from the ambassador to Belarus.