Trial of former Israeli foreign minister Lieberman to start

Israel Materials 17 February 2013 11:30 (UTC +04:00)

Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman was to be tried on charges of fraud and breach of trust by a three-judge court in Jerusalem Sunday, dpa reported.

Lieberman allegedly received classified documents on a police investigation against him. He is also suspected of intervening to help his source secure an ambassadorship.

Lieberman was expected to plead not guilty.

His former deputy at the foreign ministry, Danny Ayalon, is expected to be a key witness in the case.

Lieberman quit his post as foreign minister on December 14, a day after Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein announced his intention to indict. He stood for parliament and was reelected, but said he will not hold a ministerial portfolio until his trial is over.

If Lieberman is found guilty, and the court judges his actions carry the stigma of "moral turpitude," he would be forced to resign from parliament and wait seven years until he can return.