Lieberman Says Will Quit Politics If Convicted


Israel’s former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman indicated on Monday that he would quit politics if convicted in his breach of trust and fraud case.

Such a decision could shake up the Israeli political system, because Lieberman is the driving force behind his kingmaker party, Yisrael Beiteinu, recently merged with Likud.

Lieberman is accused of trying to advance the career of a former diplomat who relayed information to him about a since-closed criminal investigation into his business dealings. He denies any wrongdoing.

Lieberman told Army Radio on Monday he agrees with a political ally’s recent assertion that if convicted, he should not stay in politics.

Under Israeli law, he would not necessarily be compelled to leave politics if convicted. Only if the court decides that the crime involves “moral turpitude,” he would have to resign immediately from the Knesset and be barred from politics for seven years.

Lieberman told the radio station that the “moral turpitude” provision should not be the determining factor.

No date has been set for the start of his trial.

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