Sex assault case against minister likely to close

Sex assault case against minister likely to close

Charges won't be brought against presidential front-runner Silvan Shalom unless further alleged victims come forward

Silvan Shalom, March 12, 2014. (Flash 90)
Silvan Shalom, March 12, 2014. (Flash 90)

The case of an alleged sexual assault more than a decade ago by Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom on a clerk in his office is likely to be closed unless police find additional women making similar claims, officials indicated on Tuesday.

Both the police and the State Prosecution sought to reinforce the allegations against Shalom with additional complaints from other women, without which the matter will be laid to rest by the end of the week due to the statue of limitations.

According to Channel 2, police contacted another potential victim but she adamantly refused to lodge a complaint.

Earlier Tuesday Shalom was questioned by police under caution for an hour and a half and gave his version of the events. Shalom told police that he had no recollection of the incident in question and did not remember the complainant ever having worked for him.

The National Fraud Unit, which handles high-level corruption investigations, opened an inquiry earlier this week into the claims of the woman, who said she was sexually assaulted or abused by Shalom 15 years ago while she was serving under the then-science minister in the first Netanyahu government.

Sources close to Shalom have denied the allegations vehemently, saying he did not even know the woman in question.

“This is political assassination. I have no idea what they’re talking about. I’ve never heard the woman’s name in my life,” Shalom’s confidants quoted him as saying.

Some sources suggested the allegations were a smear campaign related to the race to replace President Shimon Peres when he leaves the presidency in July.

Shalom, a member of the Likud party, is thought to be one of the front-runners in the race.

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