Lieberman Says He’d Do It All ‘Exactly The Same’

By Haaretz

Published August 05, 2009, issue of August 14, 2009.
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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to an announcement by police that they would recommend an indictment against him by saying if he could go back, he would do everything exactly the same.

On August 2, the police’s National Fraud Squad recommended that Lieberman be indicted for serious crimes, including money laundering, acceptance of bribes, obstruction of justice and witness harassment. Lieberman is suspected of setting up a chain of front companies and bank accounts that allowed him to take in more than $10 million. The investigation, spanning more than a decade, has been one of Israel’s longest ever.

“I am glad that after great efforts, and after the petition I submitted to the High Court of Justice, the investigation has finally come to a conclusion,” Lieberman said during a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee.

During the previous night, he said, he had “gone over the events of recent years, and I am at peace with everything that I’ve done. If I had to go back, I would do it all exactly the same. I would behave the same way if there was a second chance.”

“As far as I’m concerned,” Lieberman went on to say, “the watershed moment will be the attorney general’s decision following a future hearing, whenever it will take place, if it will take place at all. Only after the hearing, if the attorney general decides to indict, I will resign my [Foreign Ministry] post immediately, and I assume that three to five months later I will also resign my position as the chairman of the [Yisrael Beiteinu] party, only in order to organize everything in an orderly manner.”

The Yisrael Beiteinu chairman expressed confidence that he will remain chairman of the party and foreign minister “for many years to come.” He also predicted that in the next election Yisrael Beiteinu would “win more than 20 Knesset seats.”

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