Pressure mounts on Israel president to quit
The attorney-general recommended that Moshe Katsav be indicted for rape, sexual harassment, obstruction of justice and breach of trust.india Updated: Jan 24, 2007 17:13 IST
Calls were growing in Israel on President Moshe Katsav to resign or suspend himself from office, after the attorney-general recommended he be indicted for rape, sexual harassment, obstruction of justice and breach of trust.
The indictment came following a months-long investigation into allegations that the 61-year-old Katsav sexually harassed several former females employees.
Israel Radio reported Wednesday that Attorney General Menahem Mazuz has called on Katsav to immediately take leave of absence. Legislators have begun collecting the 20 signatures needed to convene the Knesset House Committee to discuss this matter.
Katsav enjoys immunity from prosecution while in office, but can be impeached if two-thirds of the Knesset's 120 legislators support such a move.
Education Minister Yuli Tamir said Katsav should quit immediately as it was impossible to educate students to honour the presidency when its incumbent had been accused of such serious charges.
A final decision whether to formally indict the president will only be made after a hearing, where Katsav will be able to present his version of events.