State won't open criminal case against Kastsav crony

Uri Yoeli criticized by Tel Aviv District Court for silencing complainants.

February 16, 2012 18:43
1 minute read.
Katsav enters Massiyahu prison

Katsav enters Massiyahu prison_311. (photo credit: Reuters)

The State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that it will not initiate criminal proceedings against Uri Yoeli, an associate of former president Moshe Katsav. Yoeli who was accused by the Tel Aviv District Court for acting on Katsav’s behalf to intimidate and silence women he sexually harassed.

Katsav is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence after being convicted on two counts of rape, two counts of sexual harassment, obstructing justice, and committing an indecent act using force.

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According to a Justice Ministry spokesman, during Katsav’s appeal the Deputy Attorney- General for Criminal Matters, Yehoshua Lemberger, held a meeting to discuss whether there was room for further investigation against Yoeli.

Yoeli is alleged to have prepared a memorandum of understanding to ensure that “Aleph,” the main complainant in the Katsav affair, left her job at the Tourism Ministry quietly; recorded a number of Aleph’s phone calls without her knowledge; and edited the recorded calls to distort her words.

The spokesman said that while the alleged memorandum of understanding could constitute obstruction of justice and harassment of a witness – both considered misdemeanors under the penal code – the statute of limitations applied, therefore the offenses would not have been prosecutable when the criminal investigation into Katsav opened in 2006.

The same statute of limitations applies to the recordings of Aleph’s conversations, which allegedly occurred in 2000- 2001, at the start of Katsav’s tenure as president.

The alleged editing of the recordings could constitute obstruction of justice and fabricating evidence, the Justice Ministry said, but added that the editing presented evidentiary difficulties because both the time of the editing, and the identities of those who allegedly carried it out, are uncertain.

According to the ministry spokesman, Yoeli claims he gave the uncut tapes to Katsav, who edited them with his associates; whereas Katsav says he received the edited tapes from Yoeli.

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