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Trial beginning for former Israeli foreign minister

JERUSALEM – Israel’s hard-line former foreign minister is standing trial on charges of fraud and breach of trust.

Avigdor Lieberman is accused of trying to advance the career of a former diplomat who relayed information to him about a criminal investigation into his business dealings.

Following years of investigations into Lieberman’s dealings, charges were filed in January and Lieberman stepped down from his post a short time later. He denies any wrongdoing.

The trial is scheduled to begin Sunday.

Lieberman was re-elected to parliament on a joint ticket with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but has indicated that he would quit politics if convicted in the case. That would shake up Israeli politics because Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu faction are powerful political players.