New information has surfaced in the Silvan Shalom sexual harassment investigation, sources told Israel Radio on Sunday.
According to the report, police have come across new evidence linking Shalom, who is currently the Negev and Galilee development minister, to past events that could theoretically lead to criminal charges since they fall within the statute of limitations. The sources insisted that more time is needed to pursue the new leads and that the investigation will continue.
The candidates to succeed President Shimon Peres urged Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Tuesday to hold the election in the final week permitted by law in an effort to ensure that Shalom’s investigation will be behind him.
Shalom has been accused of harassing a female employee 15 years ago. The accusations came out days ahead of when he was expected to announce that he would run for head of state.
The Knesset will elect the next president in a secret ballot vote. The earliest possible date that Edelstein could set for the vote is May 26, two weeks after Knesset members return from their Passover recess.
The final possible date is June 25, a month before Peres’s term ends on July 27.
The candidates called upon Edelstein to set as late a date as possible so Shalom could run if the case against him is closed and he is cleared.
“It is important to let everyone run,” said presidential candidate Dalia Itzik, who set the latest possible date for the last presidential race when she was Knesset speaker. “Any possible impression that a candidate has been prevented from running must be avoided.”
A source close to Nobel laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman said he would not rule out endorsing such a decision by the Knesset speaker.
“It makes sense,” the source said. “Let Shalom clear his name. If the Knesset speaker wants to delay the race to the last day, that is fine. We are in favor of fair play.”
Shechtman told Channel 2 that it is important that the truth come to light as soon as possible. He said that if Shalom were cleared, he would be fit to run, and the Knesset would decide if he is fit to be president.
Speaking about his own failure thus far to obtain the endorsements of the 10 MKs required to run, Shechtman said, “The Israeli public deserves a president it can be proud of.”
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.