Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Israeli minister Avigdor Lieberman angry at 'leaks'

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (image from 9 December)
Mr Lieberman has attracted controversy throughout his career

Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman has demanded top Israeli police officers be indicted for leaking details of a corruption probe into him.

The hard-line leader of the second biggest party in the ruling coalition is accused of receiving millions of dollars in illegal campaign donations.

Police have said they are about to issue charges against him.

But Mr Lieberman says the police are guilty of "the mother of all obstructions of justice".

Mr Lieberman filed a petition with the Israeli High Court calling for 13 police officers who had access to the case files to be investigated.

What a surprise it was when an hour after I left the interrogation room, all the distorted details were released by the police commissioner's office
Avigdor Lieberman

The police deny there were any leaks to the media.

"There have been no press leaks," police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told news agency AFP.

"We published a statement on Tuesday about the questioning of Mr Lieberman because it is a very serious investigation."

Last year the police announced they were preparing charges of bribery, money laundering and obstruction of justice against Mr Lieberman.

He denies the charges and says they are politically motivated.


The foreign minister was questioned by the police about the case in preparation for an indictment.

"When I left the interrogation room, I was warned that I must not comment on any detail from the investigation, and must not talk to anyone about it," Israel's Ynet News quoted him as saying.

"What a surprise it was when an hour after I left the interrogation room, all the distorted details were released by the police commissioner's office."

On Tuesday, Israeli media reported that part of the police investigation into Mr Lieberman centred on his relationship with the former ambassador to Belarus.

Ambassador Zeev Ben Aryeh - now Israel's envoy to Latvia and Lithuania - is reported to have warned Mr Lieberman about the Israeli police investigation into a number of suspected front companies in Minsk.

Mr Lieberman had reportedly plucked Mr Ben Aryeh from obscurity at the foreign ministry and made him an ambassador, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

Mr Lieberman worked as a nightclub bouncer in his youth in the USSR and is known for his abrasive style.

He famously once said that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could "go to hell".

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