Court Nixes Petition Against Ramon Ministerial Appointment

Petitioners argued Ramon's indecent behavior conviction should preclude him from attaining a ministerial post.

The High Court of Justice on Thursday dismissed a petition filed against the appointment of MK Haim Ramon to a ministerial post.

Petitioners had argued that Ramon's conviction for harassment and indecent behavior should preclude his serving as a cabinet minister.

Last January, Haim Ramon was convicted of indecent behavior by the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court, for having kissed a young female soldier against her will while he was serving as justice minister.

Throughout the trial, Ramon argued that he thought the kiss was consensual and claimed that the complainant H. had been flirting with him.

Ramon claimed that she also did not appear to be traumatized after the kiss, adding that she posed for a picture with him and gave him her telephone number at her own initiative, he said.

Despite the harassment conviction, Ramon was reappointed to the cabinet in July 2007 and has served as Vice Premier since.