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Israeli Justice Minister to Resign, Face Trial for Sexual Harassment


Israel's justice minister says he has decided to resign, clearing the way for him to stand trial on charges of sexually harassing a teenage female soldier.

Haim Ramon is a leading member of the ruling Kadima Party and is considered a key ally of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Ramon issued a statement Friday, saying he will resign Sunday and has waived his parliamentary immunity and the right to a special hearing with the attorney general, Meni Mazuz.

Ramon denied having forcibly kissed the soldier and said he has asked Mazuz to ensure a speedy trial both "for personal reasons" and "public interest."

On Thursday, Attorney General Mazuz said he decided to indict Ramon because evidence leads to "a reasonable chance of conviction."

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