Israeli President Takes Leave of Absence Following Rape, Harassment Charges

Israeli President Moshe Katsav announced to parliament this morning that he will take a leave of absence following the attorney general’s decision to charge Katsav with rape, harassment, sexual relations involving the abuse of power, obstruction of justice, and illegally accepting gifts. Katsav‘s decision to take a leave of absence falls short of demands from legislators and the Israeli media to resign, Reuters, , and the Associated Press report.

Under Israeli law, a president, who fills a highly ceremonial role, cannot be put on trial while in office. If indicted, Katsav has indicated that he will resign, Reuters reports.
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Reuters 1/24/07; BBC News 1/24/07; AP 1/24/07

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