Police recommend charges against Israeli president in sexual harassment probe

Wrapping up a months-long sexual harassment investigation, police will recommend that charges be filed against Israeli President Moshe Katsav, media reported Saturday.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed that police investigators are to meet with state prosecutors Sunday to present their recommendations. He would not confirm or deny the reports that police favor an indictment. The final decision on whether to go to trial is up to Israel's attorney general.

Katsav has denied all wrongdoing. However, if indicated he would likely have to step aside. In Israel, the president holds a largely ceremonial role with little authority, but is considered a unifying force in a fractured society.

Israel Radio and Channel 2 TV said the case against Katsav is based on complaints by five women, who allege he made unwanted sexual advances toward them during his tenure as president and before that, as government minister. Complaints by five other women are not being pursued because the statute of limitations has run out, the reports said.

The investigation of Katsav began earlier this year, after a former employee alleged he forced her to have sex with him under the threat of dismissal. Police repeatedly questioned Katsav at his official residence and seized personal documents.

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