Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Israeli Attorney General: Indict President Moshe Katsav For Rape And Abuse Of Power

from The Guardian: Israeli president faces rape charges
The Israeli attorney general today recommended that the country's president, Moshe Katsav, be indicted on charges of rape and abuse of power.

Mr Katsav - who has been defying calls to resign or step aside while the case against him progresses - has been waiting more than three months for Menachem Mazuz's recommendations.

A final decision on an indictment of the 60-year-old can only be made after a hearing at which he will be able to present his case.

The Israeli president - who is the country's ceremonial head of state - has denied the charges, claiming he is the victim of a conspiracy by political enemies.

The charges stem from complaints made by several women who worked for him during his tenure as president and, before that, as a cabinet minister.

In October last year, police said that after months of investigations they had enough evidence to call for Mr Katsav to be charged with rape and sexual assault as well as fraud, illegal wiretapping, bribery and obstruction of justice.

Five women from his office have provided evidence against him, saying that, in some cases, he forced them to have sex. A further five women made complaints of sexual harassment dating back several years.

After the police announcement about the investigation in October, it was left to Mr Mazuz to study the evidence.

Today, his office issued a statement saying it had collected enough evidence to support an indictment against Mr Katsav on charges of rape, harassment, abuse of power and obstruction of justice, among other crimes.
and more...