DEBKAfile December 14, 2012, 4:43 PM (GMT+02:00)
Although major financial charges against him were dropped by the attorney general, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced Friday he was quitting as foreign minister and deputy prime minister over the minor charge still outstanding relating to the promotion of an ambassador suspected of tipping him off about a probe. Lieberman decided to quit, although he had received legal advice that the charge was not serious enough to force his resignation. He also relinquished his parliamentary immunity and requested a speedy trial so as to put behind him 16 years of probes and groundless suspicion and finally clear is name.
He steps down in the middle of the campaign for Israel's general election in 40 days. His Israeli Beitenu party is running on the same ticket as Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud. A hands'-down victory is predicted by opinion polls for their joint list.