The State Prosecution will not ask that former justice minister Haim Ramon be jailed following Wednesday's conviction of committing an indecent act against a female soldier who worked for him at the Prime Minister's Office, it was reported on Thursday. Instead, Ramon will receive parole and a fine. Ramon said Wednesday that he planned to appeal the verdict handed down unanimously by three Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court judges. More on the Ramon verdict:
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The former justice minister was accused last summer of forcibly kissing "Heh", the 21-year-old soldier, after the girl asked to have her picture taken with him, and inserting his tongue in her mouth without her consent. The case was widely billed as a conspiracy to oust Ramon from his position.
Ramon claimed that Heh had flirted with him before she asked him to take a picture with her, and that she had hugged him suggestively for the photo. He also maintained that he had not kissed her after the photos were taken, but had gone back to the office of the prime minister's chief-of-staff, Yoram Turbovich. He said she had followed him into the room and bent over close to his face, and only then did he kiss her. Ramon said he had not forced her to kiss him.
However, the judges declared that Ramon's version of the story was "illogical and unreasonable," and that there was "no doubt regarding the credibility of the witness."
Interior Minister Roni Bar-On (Kadima) is expected to replace Ramon as justice minister. He would take over from Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who was appointed to the position temporarily until the proceedings against Ramon were finished.
Dan Izenberg contributed to this report.