Israeli minister accused of sexual assault

2014-03-24 18:56
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Jerusalem - Energy Minister Silvan Shalom, tipped as a possible presidential candidate, has been accused of sexual assault against a female former employee, Israeli media reported on Monday.

The alleged victim, who worked for the now 55-year-old member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, has filed a complaint, the reports said.

Police told AFP they were "investigating accusations against a minister," without giving any further details.

Speaking anonymously to army radio, the former employee said Shalom had on one occasion in 1999 called her to deliver documents to a Jerusalem hotel room where he was staying, and she found him naked.

Shalom, who was serving as science minister at the time, then forced her to perform oral sex on him, she said.

Shalom was expected to run in a 14 June presidential election as a possible successor to Shimon Peres, and he was about to announce his candidature, according to local media.

Shalom appears to be immune from prosecution under an Israeli statute of limitations, since the incident occurred more than 10 years ago.

But police are keeping the investigation open in case other women come forward with similar accusations against the minister, media said.

Read more on:    israel
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