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Police Recommend Indicting Israel's President for Rape


Police in Israel have concluded there is sufficient evidence to charge President Moshe Katsav with rape.

In a statement, police investigators say they also found sufficient evidence for charges of illegal wiretapping and fraud regarding presidential pardons.

The investigators presented their recommendation to Israel's attorney general, Menachem Mazuz Sunday.

During the long investigation, police seized records and computers at the president's official residence and interviewed him several times.

Several women who worked for President Katsav have accused him of sexual misconduct including rape. The Israeli president maintains he is innocent and has accused one of the women of trying to blackmail him.

President Katsav is immune from prosecution while holding office. But Israel's parliament, the Knesset can remove him from office.

The role of president in Israel is largely ceremonial.

A previous Israeli president, the late Ezer Weizman, was suspected of receiving improper payments. But this is the first time an Israeli president has been accused of sexual misconduct.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.