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 Post subject: Israeli officials are dropping like flies
 Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:01 am 
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20731396

First Barak and now Lieberman
Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigns
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned after being charged with breach of trust following a long-running investigation.

Mr Lieberman has also resigned as deputy prime minister, and said he would fight to clear his name of the charges.

The case against him relates to a financial scandal dating back more than a decade

His resignation comes five weeks before Israel's general election.

"Though I know I committed no crime... I have decided to resign my post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister," Mr Lieberman said in a statement released by his office.

He also said he would waive his parliamentary immunity in order to settle the charges quickly, according to Reuters.

Mr Lieberman is the leader of Yisrael Beitenu, the second largest party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud-led coalition government.

The two parties were due to run together in January's general election, with polls suggesting they were on course to win.
Serious charges dropped

It is unclear whether Mr Lieberman will still run as a candidate in the election, or whether he will stand down as party leader.

Police had been investigating allegations of money laundering and bribery against Mr Lieberman, but prosecutors instead charged him with the lesser offence of breach of trust.

That relates to him receiving confidential documents concerning the investigation against him from the former Israeli ambassador to Belarus, who he later promoted to another post.

The more serious charges of bribery and money laundering relate to allegations that Mr Lieberman received millions of dollars from businessmen with interests in Israel, and laundered the money through shell companies and bank accounts.

Israeli prosecutors said they had been forced to close the case due to a lack of evidence.

Mr Lieberman has denied any wrongdoing, and described the investigations as a witch hunt.

He is seen as one of Israel's most outspoken politicians. Born in Moldova, he is one of the million Israelis who immigrated from the former Soviet Union.

Seen as to the right of Mr Netanyahu, Mr Lieberman has been a harsh critic of the Palestinian Authority and its leader Mahmoud Abbas. He lives in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.

this was the scandal they are talking about http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20716543

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