Katsav - Vote on motion to impeach postponed
Photo: Hagai Aharon

Knesset to rule on Katsav impeachment next week

House Committee decides to postpone meeting to determine suspended President Katsav's fate scheduled for Tuesday. At present time, committee lacks necessary majority to push through impeachment

A leading forum of select Knesset members from within the Knesset House Committee decided on Monday to postpone the committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday regarding the proposed impeachment of suspended President Moshe Katsav.


The committee will either quash the impeachment proposal completely or postpone deliberation on it until the end of Katsav's suspension period.


At the moment, the committee reportedly does not have the necessary majority to pass the impeachment motion and this appears to be one of the reasons for the postponement of the final meeting.

The narrow forum of MKs present at the meeting on Monday included committee chairwoman Ruhama Avraham (Kadima), Michael Eitan (Likud), Zahava Gal-On (Meretz), Gideon Saar (Likud), Limor Livnat (Likud) and Yakov Margi (Shas).



The meeting has currently been rescheduled for Wednesday of next week. It was also decided that two legal experts, Professor Kenneth Mann and Dr. Suzie Navot, will elaborate on Katsav's legal standing to the committee at that time.


Mazuz: Katsav must be given chance to respond

The committee’s began deliberations on the matter following the Knesset’s approval of the impeachment process three weeks ago. According to the procedure, only if 19 out of the 25 committee members support the impeachment, the decision will then be made in the Knesset plenum, where a majority of 90 Knesset members is needed.


Last week the House Committee discussion on the impeachment was attended by Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.


Mazuz announced at the meeting that Katsav’s hearing would take place on May 2 of this year, following a request by the suspended president’s counsel.


Mazuz also told the committee that Katsav’s suspension would have to be prolonged. "The hearing process itself is short, but the decision process is not necessarily short and depends on the testimonies we will hear,” Mazuz said, “There will be a definite need to prolong the suspension period, unless a decision to remove the president from office is made before then.”


The attorney general emphasized that indictments have been dismissed in the past following the hearing process. “It’s not rare that during the hearing process things change,” he said.


Mazuz also criticized the complaint filed by committee members at the beginning of the process, saying that it was not clear, particularly regarding the accusation of “inappropriate behavior”.


Mazuz added that questions regarding the indictment or case evidence were irrelevant because 'inappropriate behavior' is not a term used in criminal law and that by law, the committee could not remove the president from office before he had a chance to respond to the complaint.


פרסום ראשון: 02.26.07, 19:32
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