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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Attorney-General won't appeal Avigdor Lieberman verdict


Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced Wednesday that he would not appeal the verdict in Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's ambassador case.
  
Weinstein said that there were mistakes and incorrect rulings in the verdict, but at the same time the chances of succeeding in the appeal were small.
  
The Jerusalem Magistrates' Court acquitted Lieberman last month after almost a decade of investigations. 

He was accused of fraud and a breach of trust in the appointment of former ambassador to Latvia Zeev Ben Aryeh. The acquittal allowed him to return to his previous position as foreign minister.
  
The Attorney-General's Office said that after the verdict it would decide whether to appeal or not.
  
"After weighing the options, the attorney-general has decided to adopt the state-prosecutor's stance and not file an appeal on the verdict. This is considering the prosecution policy, which acts with restraint and control when appealing acquittals, as well as considering the professional assessments that an appeal would have little chance of succeeding."
  
Weinstein said that the court established factual rulings that were different than the prosecution's facts. 

Judicial law states that the instance of an appeal will not interfere with the factual rulings of the judges, excluding exceptional cases. Thus, Weinstein said, the rulings wouldn't be challenged.
  
The attorney-general said, however, that this does not put a stamp of approval on the foreign minister's actions.
  
"Lieberman's actions were not legitimate. Even though the court acquitted him it still said his actions were not appropriate, not moral and they didn't meet the expected standards of a public figure, especially someone in a high position, such as a minister in the government of Israel."
  
The judges had criticized the police and the prosecuting lawyers on their investigations, but the state-prosecutor dismissed those claims.

"During the trial things change, Moshe Lador said, saying that the case eventually would be reexamined.

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