Israeli president denies sex charges

The president of Israel has dismissed calls to step down over accusations of sexual harassment as he protested his innocence in his first public comments on Friday, after two days of police questioning.

    Police questioned the Israeli head of state for two days

    In an interview with public radio, Moshe Katsav denied allegations that he harassed a female former employee and took bribes in exchange for pardoning criminals, Israel's news website Ynet reported.

      

    When asked if he was innocent, the father of five was quoted as saying: "Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. All the accusations and the allegations are all blood libels.

     

    "It never happened. It's all lies and falsehoods," he said. The full interview is to be broadcast on Saturday.

     

    On Friday, someone broke into the home of Kineret Barashi, the lawyer of the chief plaintiff, confiscating several personal items belonging to her client and files connected to the Katsav case.

     

    "My client is temporarily living with me; some of her personal effects were stolen as well as documents linked to this case. It can happen anywhere, the police are investigating," Batashi told the privately-owned Channel 10 television.

     

    Questioned about the theft, Zion Amir, one of Katsav's lawyers, told the network: "It's a clear attempt at foul play. It is pathetic and I think the police will reach the same conclusions as me".

     

    Police investigators questioned the 61-year-old head of state at his Jerusalem residence on Wednesday and Thursday over whether he forced up to three women employees to have sex with him.

    SOURCE: AFP


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