Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein and the police brass on Wednesday agreed to continue the investigation into sexual-misconduct against Silvan Shalom, today the minister of energy and water.
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Weinstein visited the offices of the Lahav 433 police unit in Lod on Wednesday to discuss the investigation. In contrast to speculation that the case would be closed by the week's end, there is more to investigate, the sides decided.
M., a former employee of Shalom's and his accuser, on Wednesday complained to the police that her details had been leaked to the general public.
Even if the investigation concludes that M.'s charges have a basis in reality, since the claimed offense was 15 years ago – when Shalom was science minister, the statute of limitation applies.
"She knew that Shalom wouldn't face criminal charges because of the statute of limitations," said a source near M. "But the public should know what happened. Things aren't measured only by the decision whether or not to pursue a criminal case."
On Tuesday Shalom, who urged the police not to delay in the investigation and to talk with him as quickly as possible, was questioned under caution on suspicion of indecent conduct and exploiting his superiority in status over M. He answered questions about M.'s claims for more than two hours.
Throughout the session, Shalom claimed not to know M. personally, and not to recall the event she described. He did not deny that he used to sleep at the Hyatt hotel in Jerusalem, which is where M. says the offense occurred, but said he often stayed there pursuant to his function as minister.
No other complaints have been filed against him.
The police tried to talk with another woman who has been mentioned as suffering from a sexual attack by the minister, but she refused to cooperate, or even discuss the issue.
The police do not rule out M.'s version, nor do they feel she is a lackey of politicians trying to torpedo Shalom's candidacy to be Israel's next president.
M.'s associates told Haaretz that she has no political agenda, and she went on with her life after what happened with the minister. But when she heard he was running for the presidency, she felt it her duty to tell her tale, even if it can't be prosecuted, the sources said – especially after the precedent of Moshe Katsav, the Israeli president convicted of rape.
Speaking on Army Radio last week, M. described the event, which began with her going to his room in the hotel. "He was sitting on the distant bed and asked me to come sit by him," she related. "He told me I was going to change his life. I said, what do you mean? I went to the bathroom and when I came out, he wasn't on the same bed. There was another room and he was lying with crossed legs, wearing a bathrobe. He said, come join me. I was alarmed. I felt very uncomfortable."
A few weeks later, she told prosecutors, she quit her job.