Israeli foreign minister resigns

Charged with fraud, Netanyahu coalition partner Avigdor Lieberman announced that he will step down

Published December 14, 2012 2:57PM (EST)

  (AP/Amel Emric)
(AP/Amel Emric)

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

Global Post JERUSALEM – Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister, resigned on Friday, according to GlobalPost's correspondent in Israel, Noga Tarnopolsky.

Lieberman, an important coalition partner of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was charged with fraud and breach of trust on Thursday, in connection with a larger case.

He was cleared of the more serious charges of bribery and money-laundering.

Netanyahu's conservative party Likud had merged its Knesset list with Leiberman's right wing Yisrael Beiteinu to contest the upcoming elections on January 22.

According to Tarnopolsky, it seems Netanyahu and Lieberman came to the decision about his resignation together, deciding that it was electorally untenable. "With elections a month away, they could risk fighting historic precedent. No minister has ever continued to serve in Israel while being under indictment."

Tarnopolsky said, "Lieberman emphasizes that he has made his own decision, despite his lawyers' advice that he is not obligated to resigned."


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Avigdor Lieberman Benjamin Netanyahu Globalpost Israel The Middle East