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Ayalon: Liberman told me he wanted Ben-Aryeh as ambassador

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 Itongadol.- Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman told his then-deputy Danny Ayalon that he wanted Ze\’ev Ben-Aryeh appointed as Israel\’s ambassador to Latvia, Ayalon said in his testimony Thursday in the Liberman fraud trial.

Ayalon also told the court that the director-general of the finance ministry told him that Sharon Shalom, Liberman\’s Chief of Staff, asked the director-general to appoint Ben-Aryeh as ambassador.
Ayalon maintained it was Liberman\’s right to be involved as foreign minister in the appointment, but that he always told him it was a bad appointment.
Under cross-examination Ayalon denied the suggestion that he created entries in his journal of meetings with Liberman which never happened, when he discovered that his journal contradicted the version of the story that he was giving in court. 
The former deputy minister, that was ousted by the Yisrael Beytenu leader, said his firing had no impact on his testimony against his former boss. When Liberman told him he was off the Yisrael Beytenu party list,  Ayalon said he was shocked, disappointed, and that it was bad for the nation, but that he was not angry.  
Danny Ayalon is the state\’s star witness in the case against former foreign minister Liberman. The state tried to prove that Liberman improperly pressured Ayalon to appoint Ben Aryeh as ambassador to Latvia after Ben Aryeh gave Liberman confidential information in 2008 about a money laundering investigation being conducted against the former Foreign Minister.     
Liberman has denied that he took improper actions to advance Ben-Aryeh’s appointment, and denied he had held onto the document that Ben-Aryeh gave him regarding the money laundering investigation.

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