An Israeli court has sentencedHaim Ramon, a former justice minister, to 120 hours community service after hewas found guilty of indecently assaulting a female soldier.
The Tel Aviv court also fined Ramon, a close ally of EhudOlmert, the prime minister, 15,000 shekels ($3,600).
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However, the three-judge panel decided not to classify hiscrime as one of "moral turpitude" - a move that would havedisqualified him from future public office.
Ramon's case had added to a series of public scandals in
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They include police investigations of Olmert and a pendingcharges of Moshe Katsav, the president, on rape charges.
All three men have denied any wrongdoing.
The court ruled in January that Ramon had forcibly kissedthe soldier after posing, at her request, for a photograph with her at theprime minister's bureau, where she was stationed.
The prosecution asked for a suspended jail sentence, whileRamon's legal team had petitioned the court to overturn theconviction.
The court said in a statement: "The act [Ramon carriedout] is not at the top level of crimes of this sort and we got the impressionit was not premeditated.
"We are certain a lesson has been learned and the defendantwill be more careful in the future."
Moshe Negbi, an Israeli legal expert, said the court hadsent a mixed message with the sentencing.
"The good news is that [this decision underlines that]any encroachment on a woman's body against her express wishes is anoffence," Negbi told Israel Radio.
"But on the negative side, the fact that no moralturpitude has been attributed could be misconstrued."
Negbi said "certain ministerial posts are open" toRamon, with the exception of his former justice portfolio and other dutiesrelating to law enforcement following his sentencing.Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16