In a thinly veiled reference to the fraud investigation against Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said Saturday that it was “inconceivable” to indict a person for a crime committed more than a decade earlier.
Danino also said that the current law under which politicians convicted of crimes can later return to political life should be amended.
Speaking at a cultural gathering in Beersheba, Danino said that Israel needs to pass a law that sets a time limit during which it is possible to file charges for a felony. “The process takes years in court,” Danino said. “By the time you finally punish the crime, you forget what it was all about. It’s not right.”
While Danino did not specifically mention the ongoing investigation against the head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, he did say that the current system, under which cases can — and often do — drag on for many years, is “not effective, particularly in cases involving public corruption.”
Liberman is suspected of fraud, money laundering, breach of trust, and witness tampering. The case has lingered for years, however, without a decision to charge Liberman.
On Thursday, Yedioth Aharonoth reported that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein intended to close the case against the foreign minister, citing lack of witnesses willing to come to Israel from abroad to testify against him.
Liberman has repeatedly denied the allegations, claiming they constitute a political witch-hunt and pointing to the extended period of investigation as proof that no real evidence exists against him. He has repeatedly said that he would resign from the Knesset if indicted.