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Israeli Foreign Minister Lieberman Receives Draft Indictment

Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein presented Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman with a draft indictment on suspicion of fraud, money laundering and breach of trust, enabling Lieberman to fight the allegations.

Receiving the draft gives Lieberman the opportunity for a hearing with Weinstein to argue against issuing an indictment in the case, which has been under investigation for more than 15 years. Lieberman said he is innocent.

“I have always acted according to the law and I have nothing to fear,” Lieberman said at the end of a speech to members of his Yisrael Beitenu party broadcast from Jerusalem.

Lieberman, whose party is the second largest in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition government, has accused the police of waging a campaign against him. He has said he will resign if the charges ultimately lead to an indictment.

The accusations relate to “transferred funds in the millions of dollars, whose source was private businessmen, that were received from 2001-2008 in corporations under his control during the period when he served in the Knesset and was a government minister,” Weinstein said in the letter, which was made available late today by e-mail from Israel’s Justice Ministry in Jerusalem.

Moldovan-born Lieberman, 52, who lives in a West Bank settlement, has been outspoken about his policy disagreements with Netanyahu. He told the United Nations General Assembly last year that he supported an “intermediate” accord with the Palestinians at a time that the prime minister was seeking to negotiate a final peace agreement.

Lieberman said he believed that negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians “could take a few decades.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Jonathan Ferziger in Jerusalem at jferziger@bloomberg.net; Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at cbendavid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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