Israeli president faces rape charge

Moshe Katsav, Israel's president, could be indicted on charges of rape and abuse of power, the attorney general has said.

Israeli president faces rape charge
A final decision on the indictment would be made only after a hearing, where Katsav could present his case, Meni Mazuz said on Tuesday.

Katsav has denied the charges, stemming from complaints made by four women who worked for him during his tenure as president and, before that, as a cabinet minister.

Sharon Nahari, Katsav's lawyer, said the president was unhappy, but held out hope that Mazuz would reconsider at the hearing.

"We hope things will turn out differently," Nahari told The Associated Press.


Katsav's lawyers had indicated he would resign if indicted, and several politicians called on him to resign immediately.

Mazuz's office issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it had collected enough evidence to support an indictment against Katsav on charges of rape, harassment, abuse of power and obstruction of justice, among other crimes. 
'Satisfying news'

Kineret Barashi, an attorney for one of the Katsav's accusers, welcomed the indictment.


"The news that there is finally an indictment against the president of the country is very satisfying - to know that the justice system does its work and doesn't hold back, even when the president of the country is involved," she said.


The accusations first surfaced over the summer when one of his female employees accused Katsav of forcing her to have sex in his office.


Soon after, other women levelled similar accusations against him, painting the picture of a politician who had harassed his employees and abused his power throughout his career.


Mazuz declined to recommend that Katsav be charged with wire tapping and selling pardons.


"I think that in the end things will become clear, and I don't think it will be what was announced today," David Mena, a friend of Katsav's, told Israel's Channel 2. "I'm sure the indictment will be softened."


Limor Livnat, a former cabinet minister of the Likud party, called on Katsav to step down.


"The president must resign immediately," she told Army Radio.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16