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Israeli FM won't face major charges

Dec. 13, 2012 at 7:13 PM   |   Comments

JERUSALEM, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman will not be prosecuted for fraud and money laundering, the country's attorney general announced Thursday.

But Yehuda Weinstein said a minor charge remains against the right-wing Lieberman, Haaretz reported. Weinstein said he will seek an indictment on charges that the foreign minister committed a breach of trust by failing to report that Ze'ev Ben Aryeh, formerly ambassador to Belarus, gave him information about that country's investigation into Lieberman.

The investigation into allegations that Austrian entrepreneur Martin Schlaff, Israeli businessman Mikhail Chernoy and others funneled millions of dollars to Lieberman began more than a decade ago. Weinstein's announcement effectively brings it to an end, Haaretz said.

Israeli courts have ruled that cabinet members charged with "serious offenses" must resign or be fired by the prime minister. But lawyers are unsure if the remaining charge qualifies and some argue Lieberman's alleged actions may have been unethical but were not actually illegal.

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