President Moshe Katsav earned a dubious distinction Sunday evening as he became the first president to serve under a police recommendation for indictment.
Pundits’ doomsday scenarios proved accurate as police said Sunday that they had gathered sufficient evidence to recommend indicting the president on charges of rape, as well as indecent acts using force, indecent acts without consent and sexual harassment crimes.
The police also informed Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz on Sunday that there was enough evidence to prove that Katsav had committed grand larceny and fraud and breach of faith and violated the law prohibiting wiretapping. Police said that they were still gathering evidence to support further suspicions that Katsav may also have harassed a witness and disrupted judicial procedures.
The police officially presented their conclusions to the state prosecution at a meeting late Sunday afternoon at the Justice Ministry attended by Mazuz, the head of the Police Intelligence and Investigations Unit, Cmdr. Yohanan Danino, the head of the Katsav investigation team, Lt.-Cmdr. Yoav Segelovich, State Attorney Eran Shendar, Deputy State Attorney Shuki Lemberger and others.
In addition to the evidence the police have gathered regarding Katsav’s alleged sexual crimes, the police also maintain that there is sufficient evidence to press charges against Katsav for having listened in to the conversations of employees of the President’s residence and of improprieties regarding his decisions to grant pardons.
Following the findings, Education Minister Yuli Tamir became the first Cabinet member to call for Katsav to resign, and to not attend Monday’s opening of the Knesset’s winter session on Monday.