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Israeli foreign minister quits after indictment

Published on Dec 14, 2012 10:56 PM
 
File photo of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaking at a conference for young members of his Yisrael Beiteinu party in Tel Aviv on Dec 13, 2012. Mr. Lieberman resigned on Friday after being charged with fraud and breach of trust, in a move that could have repercussions on next month's election. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman resigned on Friday after being charged with fraud and breach of trust, in a move that could have repercussions on next month's election.

"I have decided to resign my post as foreign minister and deputy prime minister and ... also to remove my (parliamentary) immunity forthwith so I can end this matter quickly, without delay and clear my name absolutely," Lieberman said in an emailed statement.

Israel's Justice Ministry said on Thursday it would charge Lieberman over alleged irregularities tied to the promotion of an Israeli diplomat who had leaked him privileged information about a police probe into his activities.

More serious allegations, including money-laundering and bribery, were dropped, but even the lesser charges cast a cloud over his political future and within 24 hours of receiving the ministry report, he decided to stand down.

 
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