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Israel not to appeal Lieberman acquittal

Attorney general will not appeal last month's acquittal of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on corruption charges.

Last updated: 18 Dec 2013 14:52
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FM Lieberman returned to his post last month after stepping down to fight corruption charges [EPA]

Israel's attorney general has decided not to appeal against last month's acquittal of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on corruption charges, the justice ministry has reported.

"Following the verdict, the attorney general [Yehuda Weinstein] was required to address the question of whether to file an appeal on behalf of the state, and, to that end, he heard opinions and held a number of discussions," the ministry said on Wednesday.

"After consideration, the attorney general decided to adopt the positions of the outgoing and incoming state attorneys, who advised him not to appeal against the judgement."

The right-wing firebrand returned to his post last month, nearly a year after stepping down to fight the charges.

'Inappropriate conduct'

Lieberman heads the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party which entered into a formal alliance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud in October 2012.

Lieberman quit in December 2012 after being charged with fraud and breach of trust for appointing as ambassador to Latvia a diplomat who had tipped him off about a police probe into his affairs.

The prosecution charged that the appointment was given as a reward and represented a serious conflict of interest, particularly as Lieberman had not made anyone aware of the tip-off.

The court agreed that he had engaged in "inappropriate conduct" but did not find it warranted a criminal conviction and announced his acquittal in a hearing that lasted just a few minutes.

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