Ex-President Katsav, in prison for rape, asks for retrial
Moshe Katsav was convicted of two counts of rape, indecent acts by force, sexual harassment, obstruction of justice. He serving a seven year sentence.
Former President Moshe Katzav leaving Maasiyahu prison. September 9, 2013. Photo by Moti Milrod
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Former President Moshe Katsav on Monday asked the Supreme Court to grant him a retrial, saying his conviction for rape – which the Supreme Court upheld – constituted a miscarriage of justice.
By law, the attorney general must respond within 90 days, after which the court will consider the matter.
The request was filed by Katsav’s new lawyer, former Deputy State Prosecutor Yehoshua Reznik. But it largely reiterates the arguments made in his original appeal, which the Supreme Court rejected.
For instance, the request argues that the first rape couldn’t have occurred when his victim, the former Tourism Ministry employee known as A., said it did, because phone records show that Katsav made two calls from his car phone to her mobile during the relevant time period, implying that they weren’t together. The trial court handled this problem by saying that perhaps A. was mistaken about the day or sequence of events. Reznik charged that there was no evidence on which to base such an approach, and therefore Katsav should have been acquitted on the grounds of reasonable doubt.
The request noted the minority opinion expressed by Justice Yoram Danizger trial court’s conclusions regarding the rape of A. seemed unfounded.
Despite Danziger’s doubts, Reznik charged, the Supreme Court never “examined whether those assumptions had any basis in the evidence .... Even worse, the honorable Supreme Court added assumptions that also had no basis in the evidentiary material, and to which it referred with phrases such as ‘it’s not inconceivable,’ ‘it’s certainly possible that,’ ‘it’s also possible.’
“Unfortunately, [Katsav] was convicted on the basis of doubt, and not in accordance with our clear and well-known legal system, under which conviction is possible only if no reasonable doubt remains,” Reznik concluded.
Katsav was convicted of two counts of rape, indecent acts by force, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice. Last month, Katsav, who is serving his sentence at Ma’asiyahu Prison, received his first 24-hour furlough. His furlough was approved although he never admitted to or expressed remorse for the offenses of which he was convicted, but had taken part in treatment workshops for sex offenders.