Over the last couple years we have spoken about Israel's controversial Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
For over a decade he has been plagued by accusations of fraud, breach of the public trust, and most seriously – charges centered on bribery in a case involving the obstruction of justice by the former Israeli ambassador to Belarus.
This has all just come in via a statement issued by Lieberman's office, that he will now resign from the government, which will also included resigning from his position as deputy prime minister.
Mr. Lieberman has said he will fight the accusations against him and clear his name of the charges.
Yesterday, Israel's Attorney General decided to close the main case of bribery against Mr. Liberman, but said that he would indict Lieberman on charges of fraud and breach of trust.
Mr. Lieberman's resignation comes five weeks before Israel's general election.
Following meetings with his legal team, Lieberman first said earlier in the day that he saw no reason to resign. Now he says that though he knows he did not commit any crime, he decided to resign and remove his immunity as a member of the government of Israel.
Mr. Lieberman wishes to close this matter quickly without any delays because the Israeli general elections are just five weeks away.
He said; “I am convinced Israeli citizens have the right to go to the polls after this matter has already been decided”, thus indicating he still has an intention of getting into the next government.
That government looks to be headed up by Israel's current Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to whom Mr. Lieberman has aligned himself with and thus, with near certainty, guaranteed Netanyahu's re-election.
Earlier this week, in a stunning and now calculated move, Mr. Lieberman removed from his political party leadership, established ministers in what appears to be a move to leave him unchallenged in the leadership of the party despite his legal condition.
Middle East Correspondent