posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 09:06 AM
The Israeli Parliament has narrowly granted President Moshe Katsav a leave of absence that may last as much as six months as he deals with rape and
assault charges levelled against him. Katsav vehemently denies the allegations, which have deeply divided the country and nearly paralyzed the Israeli
President Moshe Katsav, who faces rape and other sexual assault charges, stepped aside Thursday after lawmakers approved a leave of absence. A
parliamentary panel voted 13-11 to approve Katsav's request for a leave that could extend up to six months.
Katsav called impending rape and other sexual assault charges the product of "poisonous, horrible lies." But momentum was building for lawmakers to
launch unprecedented proceedings to remove the president. Top officials, including the premier, beseeched Katsav to stop clinging to office and allow
the nation to heal.
"Under these circumstances, there is no doubt in my mind that the president cannot continue to fulfill his position and he must leave the president's
residence," Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said.
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This looks bad. At a time like this, the Israeli government seems to be falling apart over domestic issues involving alleged presidential
I don't know the details of the charges against Katsav, but they must carry considerable weight and credence to force him to take a leave of absence.
I'd hazard to say at this point that he won't be back .