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Israeli FM Vows to Quit if Indicted for Corruption


A corruption scandal is threatening to topple Israel's foreign minister.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says he will resign, if the attorney-general adopts a police recommendation to indict him on corruption charges. After a nine-year investigation, police recommended that Lieberman be charged with bribery, money-laundering and obstruction of justice.

The investigation centers on millions of dollars that Lieberman allegedly received through fictitious companies he set up while serving in other government posts.

He denies any wrongdoing.

Lieberman told a news conference that, in his estimation, he will still be foreign minister two years from now.

Lieberman is an ultra-nationalist, who supports Jewish settlement expansion and who takes a hard line on Israel's Arab citizens, demanding that they take a loyalty oath.

Several Israeli politicians have been dogged by corruption allegations. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was forced to resign last year after an American Jewish businessman testified that he gave him envelopes stuffed with cash to support a lavish lifestyle. A former finance minister was recently convicted of embezzlement and a former president was forced to step down over allegations of rape.

The scandals have eroded public confidence in the government.

A final decision on whether to indict Lieberman rests with the attorney general, and that could take months.


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