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Israel president may face second set of rape charges

[JURIST] Israeli Attorney General Meni Mazuz notified lawyers for Israeli President Moshe Katsav [official website; JURIST news archive] that a second rape charge may be added to Katsav's indictment for alleged sex crimes. The additional charges were made by the same woman who originally accused Katsav [JURIST report] of sexual assault, fraud, and rape but it has not been made clear why these allegations have only recently emerged. Katsav, who has been on a leave of absence [JURIST report] from his largely ceremonial post since January, was interrogated by police for more than two hours last week about the most recent charges.

Despite pleas for resignation [JURIST report] from legal commentators and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Katsav has refused to considering resignation. All Israeli senior state officials have the right to a hearing before the attorney general before an indictment is formally filed. Katsav's hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 2. Katsav currently has immunity, but can be impeached or prosecuted after he leaves office at the end of this term this year. AP has more.

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