Avigdor Lieberman looks on in the courtroom before his trial begins in Jerusalem's Magistrate Court on February 17, 2013© REUTERS/ Ariel Schalit / Pool
TEL AVIV, February 18 (RIA Novosti) - The trial of Israel’s former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, accused of fraud and breach of trust, began on Sunday afternoon in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, the Haaretz newspaper reported.
“Lieberman, who is charged with fraud and breach of trust in the appointment of Ze’ev Ben Aryeh as Israel’s ambassador to Latvia, entered a plea of innocence,” the paper said.
Lieberman, a key ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and one of the country’s most popular Russian-speaking politicians, is suspected of trying to advance the career of Ben Aryeh, a diplomat who provided him with confidential information about a separate police investigation into Lieberman’s business affairs.
The trial will resume on April 25, with more hearings scheduled for April 30, May 2 and May 7. The case is being heard by three judges.
During the trial, Lieberman won’t be able to keep his post in the Cabinet, but will continue to perform his duties as a member of parliament.
Israeli and international media describe the trial as decisive for Lieberman’s political future. The ex-minister said he would return to ministerial duties if cleared of all charges. If he is sentenced to a prison term of three months or more, he will be barred from running for parliament for a period of seven years, starting from the completion of the sentence.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
Infographics: First Russian Smartphone
Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.