More claims surface against Katsav

Five women allege he sexually harassed them; Katsav welcomes investigation.

katsav speaking 298 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
katsav speaking 298 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
President Moshe Katsav on Wednesday welcomed Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz's decision to open a criminal investigation into allegations that a former Beit Hanassi employee tried to blackmail him. "I'm glad the Attorney-General has decided [to open] an investigation," said Katsav. "I believe that the investigation will dispel the fog, and then the whole picture will be clearer." Earlier Wednesday, it was reported that five new women came forth with testimonies that Katsav allegedly sexually harassed them before he was president. The women claimed that the attentions they received from Katsav when he was still a government minister went beyond the normal "work relations" he reported to the newspapers. The women said that initially, they received verbal advances from Katsav, and that the situation degenerated into outright harassment and attempts to touch them. When the women turned down his advances, they were treated coldly and condescendingly by Katsav, and were sometimes forced to leave the workplace. One woman said that Katsav showered her with compliments on her appearance when she first arrived at the office, including comments about her chest, and that this degenerated into outright sexual harassment, Ha'aretz reported. "He would tell me how he thought about me at night," she said. "He would call me at home, and the conversations were not about security or politics." On Tuesday, Ma'ariv reported a testimony from another woman claiming similar charges.