(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz appeared before the Knesset House Committee on Wednesday morning for the initial discussion of a proposal to remove President Moshe Katsav from office for alleged sexual crimes.
After months of speculation, Mazuz confirmed to the committee that he was, indeed, considering filing an indictment against Katsav.
He announced that due to constraints from the defense attorney's office, the president's first hearing would be held on May 2, meaning that the Knesset would have to extend the president's temporary suspension by another three months.
Mazuz also emphasized that it was important to define the meaning of "indecent behavior", which would be cause for the committee to vote to suspend the president.
Mazuz noted that it would have to be determined whether the phrase symbolically extends to ethical, public and professional behavior, or whether it remains within the boundaries of misconduct based on criminal evidence.
The president's attorney Zion Amir, also present at the House Committee, said that the procedure of suspending a president is "very dramatic, and could even be considered a constitutional 'Big Bang'" and should be taken very seriously.
In January, Katsav was quoted as saying at a press conference in his defense that "if the attorney-general decides to indict me... I will not hesitate to step down."