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Israeli Leader May Face Rape Trial

October 16, 2006|From the Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Police recommended Sunday that Israeli President Moshe Katsav be charged with rape, sexual assault and fraud, the most serious charges leveled against an Israeli leader.

The recommendation came at a meeting between police investigators and Atty. Gen. Menachem Mazuz, who will decide whether to put Katsav on trial.

Katsav has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement released by his office, his lawyer, Zion Amir, said that in the past, when police have recommended putting senior officials on trial, the attorney general has dismissed most of the cases.

A police statement issued Sunday said the complaints were filed by "women who worked under [Katsav's] authority." It said there was evidence Katsav committed crimes of "rape, aggravated sexual assault, indecent acts without permission and offenses under the law to prevent sexual harassment."

The statement also said police found basis for charges of illegal wiretapping, and fraud and malfeasance in office in the case of pardons granted by Katsav.

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