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Haim Ramon. 'I put the affair behind'
Photo: Niv Calderon
Ephraim Konda. 'Affair cost him his health'
Photo: Gilad Kavalerchik
Ramon says was not involved in surveillance of complainant
Vice premier backs his former brother-in-law, who allegedly ordered surveillance of young woman forcibly kissed by Ramon
Vice Premier Haim Ramon said Wednesday morning that he was not involved in the surveillance of a woman he was convicted of forcibly kissing.

 

According to the suspicions, Ramon's former brother-in-law, Ephraim Konda, hired an investigations firm to follow the complainant. Konda was questioned by the police on Tuesday, and the investigators also raided the investigations firm.

 

In an official statement, the vice premier backed his former relative.

 

"Ephraim Konda, regardless of the fact that he is my former brother-in-law, is like a brother to me," he said.

 

"In the past year, I used my last powers more than once in order to calm him down, and sometimes it seemed that he was taking the results of the trial harder than me. Those who know him know that the results of the trial cost him his health."

 

Ramon claimed, however, that he was unaware of Konda's actions regarding the affair.

 

"After the verdict, I put the affair behind me. So I was surprised to hear that there a private investigation. I say this in an unequivocal way, I did not know that a surveillance had been ordered and that it took place, and I definitely did not agree to it.

 

The vice premier went on to apologize to complainant H, whom he sexually assaulted according to the court ruling.

 

"If the complainant suffered any anguish, I apologize for it. I am certain that Konda has good intentions and that he operated out of the belief that the affair caused me injustice and the desire to expose the truth as he knows it."

 

Female MKs: Ramon cannot serve as minister

Meanwhile, Knesset Members Zahava Gal-On (Meretz), Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) and Limor Livant (Likud) addressed the developments in the Ramon affair, saying that the surveillance of the complainant was another stage in turning complainants' lives into a nightmare.

 

"We are witnessing a powerful person, who is exerting great efforts, along with his associates, in an attempt to revile the victims. Ramon cannot serve as minister," the three MKs said.

 

MK Yitzhak Levy (National Union-National Religious Party) declared that he would submit a bill according to which a person convicted of a sex offense will not be appointed minister.

 

The coalition of women's organizations said that the harassment of the complainant in the Ramon affair was not surprising.

 

"Ramon continues to act like an average sex offender: Commits an indecent assault, slanders the victim, does not take responsibility for the offense he committed, and continues to undermine the woman he hurt in an obsessive manner. Like every other sex offender, he must be removed from his position of power," the coalition said in a statement.

 

Amnon Meranda contributed to the report

 

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