Israeli Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, decided on Tuesday to charge the Israeli President Moshe Katsav with rape, sexual harassment, obstruction of justice, fraud and breach of trust, Israeli media sources reported. Sources added that the sexual assault charge is related to claims made by a woman who worked for Katsav during his term as a president and during his position as a cabinet minister.
David Libai, the attorney of Katsav, said that Katsav would suspend himself as president until a final ruling is reached on the issue,as he promised the High Court.
On Tuesday, Mazuz's office issued an official statement saying that it had enough evidence to justify the filing of an official indictment against the Israeli president on charges of sexual harassment, rape, abuse of power, obstruction of justice and ilegally accepting gifts.
The Israeli Justice Ministry said that Mazuz and the state prosecutor came to the conclusion that there is enough evidences to file charges against Katsav.
According to Israeli media sources, a final draft of the indictment will be presented after a hearing where Katsav will be able to present his case. The draft will be completed within three months.
Regarding the case of “A” who worked at Katsav's office from 2003 to 2004, Katsav used his power to obtain non-consensual sex, abused his power and conducted harassment. However, he will not be facing rape charges regarding this issue, Israeli media sorces said.
Katsav will be facing charges of rape and sexual assault pressed by another female employee who is also identified as “A”, who worked with him when he was the Tourism Minister in 1998 and 1999.
He will be charged with sexual assault and abuse of power in his workplace, and the sexual harassment of two other women who worked with him at his residence.
Other charges that would be brought against Katsav are breach of trust, and fraud. The latter involved purchasing dozens of silver goblets as personal gifts using state money.
Katsav would also be charged with the harassment of a witness, after her pressured one of the complainants who worked at his residence.
He denied all charges, and said that he is a “victim of conspiracy by political enemies”. Katsav ends his official term as president in July.
According to the Israeli law, the president can only be put on trial if he is impeached by the Knesset.
Haaretz also reported that Katsav's defense attorney, Zion Amir, said last October that if and when an indictment was submitted, Katsav would resign