Olmert ally sentenced in sex case

Haim Ramon, an ex-justice minister, receives community service for indecent assualt.

    Ramon was convicted by a Tel Aviv
    court in January [AFP]
    They include police investigations of Olmert and a pending charges of Moshe Katsav, the president, on rape charges.
     
    All three men have denied any wrongdoing.
     
    'Mixed message'
     
    The court ruled in January that Ramon had forcibly kissed the soldier after posing, at her request, for a photograph with her at the prime minister's bureau, where she was stationed.
     
    The prosecution asked for a suspended jail sentence, while Ramon's legal team had petitioned the court to overturn the conviction.
     
    The court said in a statement: "The act [Ramon carried out] is not at the top level of crimes of this sort and we got the impression it was not premeditated.
     
    "We are certain a lesson has been learned and the defendant will be more careful in the future."
     
    Moshe Negbi, an Israeli legal expert, said the court had sent a mixed message with the sentencing.
     
    "The good news is that [this decision underlines that] any encroachment on a woman's body against her express wishes is an offence," Negbi told Israel Radio.
     
    "But on the negative side, the fact that no moral turpitude has been attributed could be misconstrued."
     
    Negbi said "certain ministerial posts are open" to Ramon, with the exception of his former justice portfolio and other duties relating to law enforcement following his sentencing.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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