Earlier this week the Prime Minister's Bureau Chief Gil Sheffer resigned against the background of a complaint of a 15-year-old sexual assault, closed due to the statute of limitations.
On Friday evening, Channel 10 exposed that the complainant sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last August in which she described the alleged ordeal: "Gil Sheffer attacked me violently and brutally. He slammed my head repeatedly, closed the car's door when I attempted to flee and ignored my pleas for him to stop."
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It was also reported that Sheffer announced his resignation a day after the complainant threatened to go public. He claims the complaint is false, and that his resignation is not related.
Netanyahu with Sheffer (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
According to the report, the complainant decided a year and a half ago to reveal her story to a Justice Ministry official following the Natan Eshel affair and Sheffer's expected promotion to bureau chief.
The official turned to the police, which convinced the woman to file a complaint. Channel 10 noted that though the police believed the woman, they told her that the case falls under the statute of limitations. A similar opinion was drafted by Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
Therefore, in August 2012 the woman decided to address the prime minister with a letter: "Mr. Prime Minister, I want you to know that I experienced moments of terror and fear when I was trapped with Gil in the car, after which I experienced crying fits, fear and repeated nightmares.
"It took me a year to get over the horrible ordeal. What happened with Gil was in no way a normal incident in which a man tries to approach a woman. He caused me pain and marks on my body – testimonies of witnesses are available with the police – and unbearable mental agony.
"Mr. Prime Minister, through the years I managed to close this trauma and it's very hard for me to open and return to this horrible moments and I'm flooded again with great pain."
She also wrote: "I think that as a prime minister elected also by women, it's your duty not to aid and abet men who treat women in this brutal and cruel way.
"I ask you, as a prime minister I appreciate, to choose the moral way and not let Gil Sheffer hold any public office or position of power."
Sheffer claims the complaint is false and that three polygraph tests found him innocent. On the other hand, the complainant underwent a polygraph test as well, which found that she told the truth.
In addition one of the witnesses who saw the complainant two days after the alleged assault confirmed her version.
The Prime Minister's Office said in response to the Channel 10 report: "Contrary to what has been claimed, the prime minister definitely attended the complaint and conversed several times with the attorney general who determined that there is no legal hindrance to employing Sheffer as bureau chief.
"In addition, Sheffer underwent three polygraph tests and passed them: A Shin Bet test, a police test and a private test. Gil Sheffer has been working in the Prime Minister's Officer for over four years with professionalism and diligence and has the prime minister's full trust, and his resignation has nothing to do with the complaint."
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