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Bar-On affair ends with no new charges

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Another chapter in the Bar-On affair has come to an end.

Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein and Israel's state prosecutors decided Tuesday that there was insufficient evidence to bring charges against two figures close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in connection with the short-lived January appointment of Roni Bar-On as attorney general.

The decision blocked further legal measures against Avigdor Lieberman, the director-general of the Prime Minister's Office, and David Eppel, a prominent businessman.

A three-month police investigation was launched earlier this year after an Israel Television report alleged that Bar-On was appointed as part of a deal to provide a plea bargain to Shas Knesset member Rabbi Aryeh Deri, who is on trial for corruption.

In turn, Deri allegedly promised his party's support for the Hebron agreement, which was coming up for Cabinet approval at the time, the television report said.

Bar-On won Cabinet approval Jan. 10, but stepped down two days later amid growing charges in political and legal spheres that he lacked the experience to hold Israel's top legal post.