A petition calling for the removal of President Moshe Katsav from office was submitted to the Knesset House Committee on Wednesday. The petition was signed by 40 Knesset members.The petition requests the Knesset House Committee to discuss and recommend removing Katsav from office due to his conducts that “rendered him unworthy of his title as a president”.
The MK’s submitted the petition along with a copy of the Israeli Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, regarding his intention to indict Katsav, Israeli online daily reported.
The daily added that the statement of Mazuz hints to the presence of evidence that Katsav sexually assaulted four of his female employees.
The MK’s who signed the petition were from all factions except the religious ultra-Orthodox parties.
The deliberations over the impeachment will begin in two weeks. During this time, the president and his attorneys will be able to prepare a defense for the scheduled hearing before the Knesset House Committee.
The Israeli media also said that the impeachment guidelines that were approved on Tuesday enable Katsav’s lawyers to request a delay of the deliberations, “or alternately by one third of the petition's signatories, and must be properly justified”.
No timeframe was specified by the official guidelines, but the process could be completed in three or four committee meetings.
Katsav’s impeachment needs to be supported by 75% (19 of 25 members) of the Knesset Committee.
At least seven of the committee members are currently opposing the motion; three of them are members of Shas, two from Yisrael Beiteinu, one from Kadima, and one from United Torah Judaism.
Also, Israeli media stated that if the motion is approved, it will be brought before the Knesset plenum for deliberations for one week.
If the case is brought in front of the Knesset plenum, Katsav will have the right to address it over his impeachment that requires 75% or 90 MK majority vote, Israeli media said.