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Avigdor Lieberman's Trial Begins

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He withheld vital information at the time. He said nothing about about their personal relationship. Ben Aryeh lost out after background check facts revealed what Lieberman concealed.

Lieberman denies he asked Ayalon to advance Ben Aryeh's appointment. He also denies knowledge of other information pertaining to investigating him earlier.

Ayalon's the prosecution's main witness. On February 16, he said Lieberman tried to advance Foreign Service appointments inappropriately. 

On December 14, Lieberman resigned as foreign minister and deputy prime minister. He did so weeks before general elections. He retained his Knesset seat. He said he'll quit politics if convicted.

He vowed to clear his name of all charges. Incriminating ones are longstanding. He hopes to resume serving as foreign minister.

Ayalon said he didn't "earn the trust of the international community and therefore should not have a second" chance to do so.

Labor MK Merav Michaeli said reappointing him foreign minister is unethical. Doing so "reeks" from a public policy perspective. All witnesses in his trial are Foreign Ministry employees. 

"How could they testify honestly in a trial when they know that the next moment they will be fully given to the mercy of their next boss, the defendant Lieberman?" 

"Netanyahu is in effect telling them: 'I suggest you watch your tongues.' That is improper and it makes a mockery of the law," she said.

According to Israeli jurists, political scientists, and others, any Netanyahu-arranged Lieberman deal violates legal and ethical principles.

During trial proceedings, Lieberman's barred from assuming a cabinet position. He's able to continue Knesset activities.

If convicted of moral turpitude, he'll have to resign immediately.

If sentenced to prison for three months or longer, he's prohibited from seeking a Knesset seat for seven years after completing his sentence.

Three judges will hear his case. Hagit Kalmanovich heads the panel. Yitzhak Shimoni and Eiten Kornhauser serve with him. Sunday's session was mostly procedural.

Haaretz calls Lieberman the "reigning champion of extrication from possible criminal indictment."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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