The Knesset’s Ethics Committee sanctioned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman Tuesday, deducting four-days’ pay from his wages for failing to attend 38 Knesset sessions.
The committee found that only 16 of Lieberman’s absences were due to his ministerial duties.
The committee’s decision stated that the foreign minister has exceeded his absence allowance by eight sessions, adding that for the most part, the panel “accepted Minister Lieberman’s explanations, as relayed via his bureau chief, that his absences stemmed from official trips abroad on behalf of the State of Israel, or as a result of hosting foreign dignitaries in Israel.
“According to Minister Lieberman’s own, detailed travel itineraries, the committee has not found justification for his absence from 38 plenum sessions. However, due to the special nature of the foreign minister’s role we have decided to deduct only four days from his wages,” the committee’s ruling said.
The Knesset’s Ethics Committee also admonished Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz for missing 25 plenum sessions – five over the normal allowance.
Mofaz explained his absence by citing “schedule difficulties pertaining the Kadima primaries,” adding he lends the “utmost importance” to House sessions.
The committee noted that political activity, even that pertaining to a party’s internal elections, did not justify such frequent absences, but as this was Mofaz’ first infringement, they would settle for a warning.