katsav - Tal Cohen - December 30 2010
Former President Moshe Katsav at the verdict in which he is declared guilty of rape and sexual assault, December 30, 2010. Photo by Tal Cohen
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The State Prosecution demanded Tuesday that former President Moshe Katsav, who was convicted of rape, be given a lengthy prison sentence by the court and be accused of moral turpitude.

Katsav was convicted on two counts of rape and indecent assault and sexual harassment involving women who worked for him. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice.

At the Tel Aviv District court on Tuesday, the prosecution demanded that the court sentence Katsav to a long prison term, followed by a probation period, and also demanded that he pay a fine to the complainants in the case.

Judges decided that Katsav will be given his sentence on March 8.

The law permits a sentence of 16 years in prison for rape, but based on precedent and comments by legal observers, there is a reasonable chance Katsav will receive less than this. One observer, attorney Ariel Atari, said the sentence would probably be a "single digit" number of years.

In the full verdict released last month, the residing judges severely criticized the media for holding a "drumhead court-martial" to the former president, adding that while the coverage would not annul the verdict altogether, it may weigh in favor of the defense in its attempt to reduce Katsav's yet-to-be-delivered sentence.

"We do not ignore the mental anguish the defendant suffered as a result of the infinite flux of harsh publications released against him through the media and which had declared him a sex offender prior to his trial," judges George Kara, Miriam Sokolov and Yehudit Shevah wrote in their verdict.

The judges issued severe criticism of the Israeli media, saying that "lines were crossed in an unprecedented manner" in regard to the Katsav affair, adding, however, that the former president was at fault as well.