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Former President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, Convicted in Rape Cases

By Staff Writer

Former president of the State of Israel, Moshe Katsav (center), following his conviction in court. Photo: Yariv Katz/Yedioth Ahahronot for Israel Sun
Former president of the State of Israel, Moshe Katsav (center), following his conviction in court.
Photo: Yariv Katz/Yedioth Ahahronot for Israel Sun

Former President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, was convicted, on two counts of rape and other counts of sexual harassment and indecent acts by force against three women who worked for him while he served in government as Minister of Tourism, prior to becoming the state�s eight president. The conviction, which caps a 19-month-long trial, concluded the first criminal trial of a former Israeli president in Israel�s history.

The lengthy decision rendered by the three judge panel found that the testimony of "Aleph," who worked for Katsav in the Ministry of Tourism and accused him of two counts of rape, was supported by new evidence that came to light during trial. The judges also rejected Katsav�s claim that he was indicted by the media, and added that he brought the media attention on himself - in particular with his three and a half hour televised rant in March of 2009, following which several of his own advisers resigned.

"Katsav�s testimony was scattered with lies, big and small," the verdict reads, "and demonstrated his many attempts to manipulate and hide evidence�. He humiliated his victims and used his authority to have his way with them sexually."

Katsav, 65, was convicted on two counts of rape, indecent acts by force, and sexual harassment against "Aleph" of the Ministry of Tourism, as well as counts of sexual harassment against "Heh" of the President�s Office, and indecent acts and sexual harassment against "Lamed," who was then an 18-year old National Service volunteer in the President�s Office. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice in Lamed�s investigation, but was cleared on charges of witness tampering. The sentence for rape is from 4 up to 16 years in prison.

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