Rassegna Stampa Elezioni Israeliane 2009

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Israeli FM questioned over graft

Posted by alicemarziali su 3 aprile, 2009

 AL JAZEERA INTERNATIONAL

Avigdor Lieberman, the new Israeli foreign minister, has been questioned by police on suspicion of corruption.

Israeli police said that Lieberman had been placed under caution on Thursday and questioned for more than seven hours at the national fraud squad headquarters in central Israel, as part of an ongoing investigation.

“Avigdor Lieberman was questioned under caution by police today for seven-and-a-half hours on suspicion of carrying out the following: bribery, money laundering and breach of trust,” Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, said.

The long-running investigation is examining Lieberman’s business dealings.

His lawyer and daughter have also been interrogated.

Lieberman denies all of the allegations.

In a statement issued by his office, Lieberman said he is “in a hurry to end this inquiry which has gone on for 13 years. The minister co-operated and answered the investigators’ questions”.

Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, reporting from Jerusalem, said: “Lieberman has actually complained about the way that this investigation has been dragged out, he says it is having a very damaging effect on his public image and he has filed a petition to the court asking for it all to be speeded up.

She noted that the previous government of Ehud Olmert “was brought down by exactly these kind of corruption allegations”.

Lieberman became Israeli foreign minister on Tuesday after weeks of talks during which Binyamin Netanyahu, the new prime minister, brought together a ruling coalition.

He is a controversial politician with ultra-nationalist views, which have left analysts doubting the possibility of peace between Israel and the Palestinians during his tenure.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Gideon Levy of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz said: “One way or the other, this [investigation] should come to an end, hopefully soon, because it is impossible to [be] Israel’s foreign minister and to be under such heavy suspicion.

“In any normal country, he [Lieberman] would not have been nominated at all with such suspicions, but in Israel everything is possible, and we have to wait and see what will come out of those investigations.”

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/04/200942145820429387.html

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