Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman resigns amid fraud charges

Netanyahu's deputy will step down in a move with possible repercussions for the upcoming election

Topics: Israel, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Fraud,

In a move that may have implications for Israel’s upcoming election, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman announced Friday that he is resigning after being charged with fraud and breach of trust.

According to Reuters, “opinion polls have predicted that the rightwing party of Lieberman and the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, would win the election on 22 Jan.” Lieberman said Friday in an email statement that he was resigning in order to clear his name, “Though I know I committed no crime … I have decided to resign my post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister,” he announced.

Lieberman will, however, remain on the election ticket for the conservative Likud Beiteinu coalition party.



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Haaretz gave some background on the fraud charges:

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein on Thursday said he was closing the main case against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, concluding a 12-year investigation into allegations of money laundering and fraud. However, Weinstein said he would indict Lieberman on lesser charges of fraud and breach of trust, in the case concerning Israel’s former ambassador to Belarus.

 

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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