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Israeli Police Investigate Sex Harassment Allegations Against President

Israeli President Moshe Katsav is being investigated after two former female employees accused him of forcing sex on them. Police are questioning Mr. Katsav at his residence and have seized computers and documents from both his house and office. Mr. Katsav is denying any wrongdoing and is cooperating with the investigation, his spokeswoman told Reuters. If found guilty, Mr. Katsav will be immune from prosecution, but the parliament may chose to impeach him if it decides that he has acted inappropriately.

Mr. Katsav's presidential position is largely ceremonial, and any charges against him would not interfere with the operations of the government under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the New York Times reports. The charges against Katsav come as controversies surround several other Israeli senior government officials.

Media Resources: BBC News 8/23/2006; The New York Times 8/23/2006; Reuters 8/23/2006