Golan on Ramon case: 'You can't do anything you want to a woman'

Dep.-Cmdr. Miri Golan said in court Wednesday she did not apply unfair pressure on Heh to complain to police about having allegedly been forcibly kissed by former Justice Minister Haim Ramon. "If in all those cases where women did not want to lodge a complaint we let the matter go, we would create a situation where the police would never try to find out what happened," she said during questioning in Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court in Ramon's trial. Ramon's lawyer, Dan Scheinemann, has accused Golan of forcing the plaintiff, Heh, to complain against Ramon as part of an "agenda" to bring him down. Golan said she did not consider Ramon's alleged act to be of minor importance. "You can't do anything you want to a woman," she said. "It cannot be that the dignity of women will be such that when someone takes advantage of them, it will be as if nothing happened." Golan began to cry as she described the meeting with Heh in which she tried to persuade her to complain against Ramon. "When I met Heh, she cried nonstop and her body trembled," she said. "I had to calm her down. She said several times, 'How can this be? I came to serve my country and now it's as though I'm in a movie. What a terrible situation. I came to give my all and here I am in a situation which I never thought could happen, where a minister of justice in Israel can do such a thing.'" Golan said she had warned Heh that since a few people already knew about the story, it would soon become public knowledge. Once that happened, the police might begin a criminal investigation even without a complaint and Ramon could be called in for questioning. "This could mean that you could be sued by Ramon for libel, and then you would have to tell the police your side of the story [anyway,]" Golan added. She testified that she was aware that Heh's parents did not want their daughter to complain and so she was frank with Heh and told her that she would undergo tough questioning and that the entire procedure was not a simple thing. At one point, Scheinemann presented Golan with the transcript of a conversation between Heh's direct boss and the commander of the unit, Maj.-Gen. Gad Shamni. The boss told Shamni that the investigation looked to her like "a war by the police on Ramon." Golan bristled at the allegation. "I feel ashamed that someone could ask me a question like that," she responded. In earlier testimony Wednesday, the secretary of the Prime Minister's Office, Sima Galili, told the court she had not noticed anything unusual in Heh's conduct after being photographed with Ramon. The kiss allegedly occurred after the two had been photographed and then left alone in the room by the photographer. Galili also said she had never heard Heh speak to any other minister as she did to Ramon. Before they were photographed together, Heh allegedly told Ramon she could not resist him and said he should come with her to Costa Rica. Another witness, Shula Zaken, head of the prime minister's bureau, told the court that although she and Heh were close, Heh did not tell her about the incident for a week. When Heh did eventually tell her the story, Zaken asked why she was telling her the story at that point and Heh replied, "So that you'll know, and maybe you'll speak to him and tell him not to do it to others."