Sunday, December 17, 2017

Israeli foreign minister resists calls to resign

JERUSALEM — Israel's powerful foreign minister resisted calls to resign Thursday after he was charged with breach of trust in a fraud and money-laundering case threatening to upend the Israeli political system just a month before parliamentary elections.

Avigdor Lieberman, who escaped more serious charges, said Thursday that the law does not require him to quit. Lieberman, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the accusations were politically motivated.

Prosecutors have long suspected Lieberman illicitly received millions of dollars from businessmen and laundered the cash through straw companies while he was a lawmaker and Cabinet minister.

Last year the attorney general said he intended to indict Lieberman on charges that included fraud and money laundering. Thursday, he said the case wasn't strong enough.

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