Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom on Tuesday gave his version of events to police in response to allegations of sexual assault from a former employee.
Update: The allegations against Shalom were not substantiated and the investigation was closed several weeks later.
Police questioned Shalom for an hour and half under caution in connection with the claims made by his accuser, whose identity is currently under gag order.
The minister’s bureau said in a statement that Shalom volunteered to give his testimony as soon as news of the allegations broke on Monday.
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.
Shalom told police that he had no recollection of the incident in question and did not remember the complainant ever having worked for him.
Police said they were treating the allegations as a serious matter, since a single complaint often prompts other women to come forward.
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 have 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 (Likud) is thought to be one of the front-runners in the race.