Katsav to ask Israel Supreme Court for further hearing over rape conviction
Supreme Court upheld Katsav's 7-year sentence on two counts of rape and other sexual offenses earlier this month; Katsav is due to start his sentence on December 7.
Former President Moshe Katsav, whose appeal over his seven-year sentence for rape and sexual offenses was rejected earlier this month, has petitoned the Supreme Court for a further hearing on his case.
Thursday was the deadline for Katsav to make such a request since his appeal was rejected fifteen days ago. Katsav's legal team have requested a further 45-day extension of the deadline.
Katsav is due to start his sentence on December 7, and it is thought highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will grant the request.
Israel's Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Tel Aviv District Court's decision to convict former President Moshe Katsav of two counts of rape and other sexual offenses, and to sentence him to seven years in prison earlier this month.
Katsav was sentenced this past March.
Legal sources: Unlikely that former Israel President Katsav will be pardoned
Former president Katsav's 7-year conviction for rape, other sexual offenses upheld by Supreme Court last week; Katsav to Israeli press: I curse the day I was elected president.
A senior legal source said on Wednesday that the chances that former president Moshe Katsav will secure a legal pardon for his seven-year rape conviction are minimal.
Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously upheld the Tel Aviv District Court's decision to convict former President Moshe Katsav of two counts of rape and other sexual offenses, and to sentence him to seven years in prison.
Legal sources emphasized President Shimon Peres’s policy of not reducing sentences of sex offenders who have been convicted of serious crimes, such as rape, and not reducing sentences of public figures who have been convicted of serious crimes.
As such, Peres does not ease punishment of convicted public figures before they have served a significant portion of their sentence, have admitted their guilt, and have agreed to go through rehabilitation.
In an interview with the newspaper Yediot Aharonot, Katsav said Wednesday, “I have not committed suicide, and I do not intend to commit suicide. I promise my family that I will be strong, but even iron that is hit, as I have been over the past five years, bends. I curse the day I was elected president of the State of Israel.”
“I respect the decision of the judges, but they made a mistake, my conviction should not be based on the decision that the main witness is reliable,” Katsav said in the interview.
“Behind the accusations against me there were politics,” Katsav added.
“I apologize to the women who complained against me if I hurt them. I will continue fighting for my innocence. My truth will come to light, even if it is after my death,” Katsav said in the interview.
In an interview to the Maariv newspaper, Katsav also said, “I have never hurt anyone, but if any woman thinks that she was hurt by me, I apologize to her.”
Former President Katsav, after upheld rape conviction: I feel no guilt
Former president's associates say he is saddened Supreme Court did not listen to his version of events, in which he rejected the rape conviction and appealed the seven-year prison term handed to him.
Former President Moshe Katsav told his associates onThursday that he feels no guilt regarding the crimes attributed to him by Israel's Supreme Court, which upheld the Tel Aviv District Court's ruling to convict him of rape and other sexual offenses and to sentence him to seven years in prison.
An close friend of Katsav said that the former president rejected the court's decision to uphold his seven-year rape sentence, but would continue to insist upon his innocence.
"He is strong and steadfast," said David Motai, a friend of the former president. "There is no reason in the world for anyone to bring him down. He knows his truth, he feels no guilt."
Motai continued to say that Katsav was upset the Supreme Court refused to listen to his version of the events, in which he claimed the sexual relations he had with the complainant were consensual.
"He is saddened that the court refused to listen to his claims," said Motai. "He told us, ‘the system wouldn’t hear my claims.’”
Motai continued, saying, “He is surrounded by his family, they are supporting and strengthening him, and I call upon President Peres to pardon him. It is beneath us for the former president to sit in jail."
Earlier Thursday, Supreme Court Justices Miriam Naor, Edna Arbel and Salim Joubran entered the courtroom and read a summary of their decision to reject Katsav's appeal of his conviction, unanimously deciding not to intervene in the district court's ruling.
The court decided Katsav would begin serving his seven-year sentence on December 7.
The Supreme Court justices agreed that Katsav had lied when insisting that his sexual relations with the former Tourism Ministry employee, A., were consensual, thus validating her allegations of rape. .
קראו כתבה זו בעברית: האסיר מספר 1 || קצב למקורביו: המערכת לא הקשיבה לי, לא מרגיש אשם