Katsav to remain highest-paid civil servant even if suspended

President Moshe Katsav will continue to receive his full salary of NIS 46,278 per month even if he suspends himself from duties, Knesset legal experts said Wednesday. Until Katsav is officially removed from office, he will continue to be Israel's highest-paid civil servant. After he leaves the office of the presidency, Katsav will also receive a pension, regardless of whether or not he is incarcerated. "There is no reason that his salary or pension would be affected by events or allegations surrounding him," said a Knesset Finance Committee spokesman. On Wednesday morning, not even 24 hours after Attorney General Menahem Mazuz announced that he would indict Katsav on rape charges, the Finance Committee approved a raise in Katsav's salary. "The raise in the salary happened in conjunction with the raise in all the salaries of civil servants as demanded by the economic situation," said the spokesman. A report released by the committee on Wednesday morning showed that ministers receive NIS 35,819 a month while deputy ministers earn NIS 33,140. Supreme Court judges earn NIS 40 - 45,000 while lower court judges earn NIS 27,000 - 34,000. Katsav earns more than any other civil servant; his salary is over NIS 6,000 a month more than what the prime minister makes. The salary amounts for January 2007 were unchanged from December 2006, and do not include other perks of the positions.