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Minister Shalom's Sexual Harassment File Likely to be Closed

Police investigation finishes, file on 15-year-old charges raised week after president candidacy expected to be closed.
By Ido Ben-Porat, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/25/2014, 9:38 PM

Minister Silvan Shalom
Minister Silvan Shalom
Flash 90

The police finished their investigation of a sexual harassment complaint against Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom on Tuesday. Barring any dramatic change of events, the Attorney General is expected to order the minister's file be closed.

The closure of the file comes due to the statue of limitations expiring on the harassment complaint, which was filed over an event that allegedly occurred 15 years ago between him and a secretary at his office. Silvan was a government minister at the time of the event.

Police investigators tried to reach another woman to allow her to complain as well, although she refused to take part, reported Channel 2. Earlier on Tuesday, Shalom was questioned by the police's Lahav 433 Unit for two hours, and gave his version of the events.

Further complicating the harassment charges is the fact that they were submitted now, 15 years later, a week after Silvan began submitting his candidacy to run for president of Israel. Some Likud members said the charge would lead Silvan to remove his candidacy, a notion Silvan's office rejected.

Even though the Attorney General is anticipated to close the file, the wording used in his arguments will have great significance for Shalom, according to experts. If the wording leaves doubt regarding Shalom's innocence, it may block his path to the presidency.

Likud activist Uri Jan, who is close to Shalom, told IDF Radio on Tuesday that political rivals are trying to eliminate Shalom's candidacy. “This is political persecution to torpedo his run for the presidency,” he said. “It is a false story, I am one million percent sure.”