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Lieberman declares he'll resign if convicted in criminal charges


10:22, January 15, 2013

JERUSALEM, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- Former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that if he'll be convicted in the criminal charges against him he'll retire from political life.

Lieberman, who has been indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust, made the comments during a Monday morning interview with Army Radio.

"Even if there is no moral turpitude, I will not continue in politics in such a case. There must be clear norms," he said Monday.

"However, I'm sure I'll be cleared in the end," Lieberman added.

The former foreign minister stepped down from his post on Dec. 14, 2012, after Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced he'll indict him for the "Belarus Ambassador" affair.

According to the indictment, Lieberman received classified information from then ambassador to Belarus, Ze'ev Ben Arye, related to a separate investigation against Lieberman on money laundering charges.

In addition, Lieberman is accused of explicitly instructing his then deputy and heads of the appointments committee in the ministry, Danny Ayalon, to name Ben Arye as ambassador to Latvia and hiding their connection from the committee.

According to the Israeli law, politicians and other public officials can be forced out of service in case the court finds there is moral turpitude in their actions, or if it sentences them to jail time or community service.

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