Ramon to Resign on Sunday, Will Face Trial on Indecent Assault

Justice Min. waives immunity, right to hearing; Ramon charged with allegedly forcibly kissing female soldier.

Justice Minister Haim Ramon announced on Friday to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz that he waives his parliamentary immunity and his right to a special hearing, and plans to resign from his post on Sunday.

This announcement follows Mazuz's decision on Thursday to charge Ramon with indecent assault for allegedly having forcibly kissed an 18-year-old female soldier in a government office.

Ramon asked Mazuz to ensure a speedy trial "for personal reasons, but also because of public interest."

Ramon said that he is certain that he would be successful in court, and that he would prove that a kiss of two, three seconds, based on the complainant's version, cannot be considered an act with criminal intent.

In his interrogation, Ramon said that the accuser was the one who initiated the kiss, which took place July 12, at a social event held at the defense ministry complex in Tel Aviv. He also maintained that the woman had given him her phone number following the kiss.

The justice ministry refused to reveal the details of the investigation, but sources reported that in her interrogation, the complainant convinced the attorneys following the case that her version is reliable. Mazuz himself did not meet with the accuser, but was also convinced that an indictment was in order.

In his official announcement of the indictment on Thursday Mazuz wrote, "at the end of the day, the events of the alleged transgression between Ramon and the complainant spanned only a few seconds, and was not witnessed by anyone. The variations between the two opposing versions boil down to these few seconds. "

"In a case of two conflicting versions," Mazuz continued, "when the accuser's version is consistent, appears believable and is independently supported by other testimonies, there is no other option but to indict and leave the decision up to the court. In a case involving a cabinet minister and a young soldier and an event occurring during work hours inside a government office, a decision must be made. There is considerable public interest in a clear and decisive conclusion."