Israel's Lieberman acquitted on graft charges

2013-11-06 22:09
(File, AF)

(File, AF)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - An Israeli court on Wednesday acquitted Avigdor Lieberman on corruption charges in a move welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who hailed his anticipated return to government as foreign minister.

The verdict, reached by a panel of three judges at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, means the outspoken hardliner is free to return to a commanding position within the coalition, in a move which could have implications for Israel's peace talks with the Palestinians.

But his return to the cabinet would be frozen if Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein were to file an appeal.

"I congratulate you on your unanimous acquittal and am happy about your returning to the government so that we can continue working together for the good of Israel," Netanyahu said in a statement.

The stocky 55-year-old former nightclub bouncer was put on trial on charges of fraud and breach of trust over his appointment of Israeli diplomat Zeev Ben Aryeh to the post of ambassador to Latvia after he tipped Lieberman off about a police probe into his affairs.

The prosecution said the appointment was given as a reward and represented a severe conflict of interests, particularly as Lieberman had not made anyone aware of Ben Aryeh's tip-off.

Although the judges agreed he had engaged in "inappropriate conduct", they did not find it worthy of a criminal conviction, announcing his acquittal in a court hearing which lasted just minutes, public radio reported.

"I want to thank the court," said a jubilant Lieberman after the hearing.

"After 17 years [of investigations], it is behind me. I am putting this matter behind me and I look forward to the challenges ahead."

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  isreal

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.