Former Israeli president to face rape, sexual assault charges | world | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 07, 2016-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Former Israeli president to face rape, sexual assault charges

world Updated: Mar 08, 2009 22:37 IST
Xinhua
Xinhua
None
Highlight Story

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav will be indicted over rape and other sexual assault charges, the country's attorney general Menachem Mazuz announced on Sunday.

The move followed a spate of headline-making accusations by a number of women who worked under Katsav when he was tourism minister and later president, including one known as "A", who claimed that Katsav raped her.

In addition to counts of indecent acts, the former president would also be charged with obstruction of justice, according to a statement released by the office of state prosecutor Moshe Lador, who co-sponsored the indictment.

"The final decision on the indictment was made after the attorney general and the state prosecutor both have come to the clear conclusion that there was sufficient evidence to support a criminal indictment and secure a conviction," said the statement.

Many of the offences took place several years ago, and thus the State Prosecutor's Office has to reassess and reinvestigate some of the charges, said the statement when explaining the long delay of the indictment.

Under increasing pressure since the scandal broke out in 2006, Katsav stepped down shortly before his term expired in July 2007, and was replaced by current President Shimon Peres.

In June 2007, Katsav reached a plea bargain with Mazuz, which dropped the rape charge in return for a guilty plea for sexual harassment and indecent acts which was criticised by many for being too lenient.

However, the former president reneged on the deal in 2008 and announced that he would prefer a trial, which prompted Mazuz to resume the legal process against him.