JERUSALEM (JTA) — Silvan Shalom, Israel’s energy and water minister, is being investigated following accusations of sexual offenses committed against a female staff member some 15 years ago.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein reportedly launched the probe after receiving the complaint last week. The Justice Ministry confirmed the reports, Ynet reported. News of the complaint was reported late Sunday night and Monday.
A gag order on the name of the minister was lifted on Monday afternoon.
The statute of limitations on such cases, in which the complainant was not a minor, is 10 years, but Weinstein could decide to prosecute the case under certain circumstances. The investigation will determine whether there are other people who wish to file a complaint against the minister.
According to the former staff member, the sexual offenses took place at a Jerusalem hotel where Shalom was staying, Haaretz reported. She resigned shortly after the incident.
Members of Shalom’s staff believe the complaint is being made now to torpedo his candidacy for president of Israel, according to Haaretz. Shalom has been a member of the Knesset since 1992.