Gil Sheffer, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau chief, announced on Wednesday he would be leaving his post at the end of July. Meanwhile, Channel 2 reported that police investigated Sheffer on allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman 15 years ago.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided there was no reason to prosecute Sheffer.
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Speaking to Ynet on Wednesday, Sheffer denied the allegations and said three polygraph tests he had taken all proved he was speaking the truth. "It was a year and a half ago; the investigation ended. There is no connection between my decision to leave and these claims," he said.
The Prime Minister's Office said the complaint that was lodged against Sheffer was "baseless, and proof of this lies in the fact that police closed the case after three separate polygraph tests found that Sheffer was telling the truth. Moreover, the attorney general determined there was no reason he could not continue serving (as bureau chief). In the coming months he will end his term, according to his agreement with the prime minister. There is no connection to the false complaint from 1998."
Sheffer (L) and Netanyahu (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
Addressing his resignation, Sheffer told Ynet "I planned to leave after the elections. But after the elections Netanyahu asked that we form the coalition, and then he asked for another 100 days. I agreed. I've done all there is to do in this position. It's a 24-hour job."
The Justice Ministry said that in February 2012 information was received about a woman who claimed Sheffer had sexually assaulted her some 15 years ago while they were sitting in a car together. The complaint was filed while Sheffer was serving as deputy bureau chief. According to the ministry, police launched a criminal investigation during which Sheffer denied any wrongdoing.
"A few months ago, after the complainant turned to the police again, investigators were asked to collect additional evidence the complainant turned their attention to," the ministry said. "The additional evidence was presented to the attorney general, who determined there were no grounds for changing his legal opinion on the matter. However, the complaint and the investigation material were transferred to the prime minister."
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