Justice Minister Ramon to be indicted
In discussion held Thursday evening, Attorney General Manchem Mazuz decides to indict Justice Minister Ramon on suspicion of indecent assault against governmental office employee. Young woman complains Ramon tried to kiss her aggressively after she asked to take a picture with him; Ramon claims woman initiated kiss
Mazuz gave Ramon the possibility of a hearing, through his representative, before making a final decision on the matter. Ramon said he was considering the matter and will announce his decision shortly.
Ramon said in response: "I am certain of my innocence. The court will prove it."
If at the end of the hearing a decision is made to indict Ramon, he will be forced to leave his job. However, a senior legal source told Ynet following Mazuz's decision that "this means the prime minister must dismiss Ramon. This is the norm set in the ruling in previous affairs… The rule is unequivocal."
The attorney general said that "at the end of the day, the event of the alleged offence between the minister and the plaintiff happened for a few seconds, with no witnesses, and the variation between the minister's version of events and that of the plaintiff is centered only in these few seconds."
"In the event of a version against version, in such a case, and when the plaintiff's testimony is consistent and credible, and is even supported by other testimonies, there is no other choice but to indict and bring to justice the accused," he added.
Mazuz emphasized that "aside from the solid evidence used as a basis for the indictment, when it has to do with a minister suspected of sexual harassment and when the plaintiff is young and the event takes place during work, in a government office, this suspicion cannot be dismissed without prior consideration and there is a significant public interest in coming to a clear and final judicial decision in this matter."
Mazuz met with Ramon after examining the investigation material and after consulting with the State Prosecutor Eran Shendar, and with the deputy to the state prosecutor on criminal affairs. Mazuz consulted with other factors in the prosecution and the police.
Complaint: Harassed employee who asked for picture with him
In the past few weeks, police officials estimated that there is enough evidence to support an indictment. Three weeks ago, Ramon himself was brought in for questioning for seven hours . Following the investigation, the attorney general explained to him that as long as he is being investigated by police, he will have to avoid dealing with issues concerning his position as a justice minister.
The matter of the complaint against Ramon was published after the district court partially removed the publication ban on the matter. H, the young plaintiff, is not working at Ramon's office, but served until recently in one of the other government offices.
H told police that when she finished working, she went to Ramon's office and asked to take a picture with him as a souvenir. After they took the picture and stayed alone in his office, H alleges Ramon aggressively tried to kiss her and put his tongue in her mouth.
According to her, she did not forcefully resist him because "I didn't know what to do with myself." Ramon retorted that H is the one who attempted to initiate romantic relations with him and offered him her phone number.
The Movement for Quality in Government in Israel demanded that Ramon resign from his position immediately.