Police: Enough evidence found to indict Katsav on sex charges
AG gives first public statement on Katsav Tuesday night on Ch. 10; source: President can't avoid indictment.
The team investigating President Moshe Katsav for alleged rape and other charges presented its intermim findings to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz on Tuesday.
Investigators believe the material collected so far contains enough evidence for at least three charges in the affair.
Based on the evidence it appears highly likely that at the end of the investigation, the team will recommend indicting Katsav apparently on three charges.
While the evidence is strong regarding the charges of sexual harassment, in the other matters, improper conduct in the granting of pardons and wiretapping of President's Residence employees, more evidence is needed. But police sources said there is some evidence on which to base these charges.
Most of the investigation, which started about two months ago, has been completed, and sources close to the investigation said the probe could end within a few weeks after which a decision could be made on an indictment. Contrary to rumors over the past few days, it was not decided in the meeting to hold a confrontation between the former staff member known as A. who claimed Katsav raped her, and the president.
Investigators said it would be enough for Katsav to take a polygraph test to prove his version of events.
At the end of Tuesday's meeting attended by State Prosecutor Eran Shendar, his assistant Shuki Lamberger, other senior Justice Ministry officials, and the head of the police investigation, Brigadier General Yoav Segelovitch, Mazuz instructed the investigators to requestion a number of individuals. Katsav is not expected to be questioned again.
Haaretz has also learned that the detectives on the case are expected to question individuals who have not yet given testimony next week. The team has been instructed to complete the investigation as soon as possible due to Mazuz's decision not to publish an interim report. Mazuz is expected to render a decision in two to three months.
Mazuz: I don't believe there's a plot against the presidentIn an interview to Channel 10 Tuesday, Mazuz said he did not believe there was a plot being conspired against the president.
"I don't get the impression that the suspicions against President Moshe Katsav are a plot, especially in light of the fact that a long series of people are involved," Mazuz said in an interview broadcast on the "London & Kirschenbaum" program. This was his first public statement regarding the investigation against Katsav.
Mazuz said that people under investigation habitually claim they are being framed, but that, in this case, he does not believe there is a plot against the president.
"When there is a single complainant, the potential for a plot can be more substantial, but when there is a lengthy line of [male or female] complainants, and information that comes from various sources, the plot option seems fairly unlikely to me," Mazuz said.
Katsav and his associates have charged that the allegations against him are the result of "a conspiracy by a gang of criminals who decided to topple the president."
However, Mazuz added that this does not mean an indictment is definitely on the way. "That we will still have to sort out," he said.
"I certainly cannot say whether an indictment against the president is in the works," Mazuz said. "Nor is it right for me to say, and I still do not have a complete enough picture, not to say and not to formulate a position. Within a reasonable time frame, we will present details of the matter to the Knesset, public and president himself."
A source familiar with the investigation said Monday: "It will be impossible to avoid filing an indictment against Katsav." Several in the know have suggested in recent days that Katsav could be indicted on all three aspects of the case: sex offenses, irregularities in granting clemencies, and illegal wiretapping.