Israeli Foreign Minister Vows to Quit if Indicted for Corruption

August 3, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said he will resign his position if charged over corruption allegations.  On Sunday police recommended that the outspoken FM should face charges related to bribery, money-laundering and obstructing justice, but the decision on pursuing the case now rests with the attorney general. The investigation, which began in 2006, alleges Lieberman set up multiple front businesses through which he laundered millions of shekels. He is also accused of trying to obstruct police investigations. The Moldovan-born who immigrated to Israel in 1978, has made a meteoric rise from baggage handler who has become the country’s most controversial far-right politician. Mr Lieberman has consistently denied any wrong-doing and says the inquiry is politically motivated.

“For 13 years the police have conducted a campaign of persecution against me,” Lieberman said in a statement released Sunday. “As much as my political strength and the strength of Yisrael Beiteinu rise, the campaign of persecution also intensifies.”

“[If the attorney general] decides to indict me after hearing me out, I will step down as foreign minister and within the next four or five months I will quit as a member of parliament,” Mr Lieberman said.

But he added: “I am convinced that next year, and in two years too, I will still be foreign affairs minister.”



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