Katzav - Alon Ron
Former President Moshe Katsav Photo by Alon Ron
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The State Prosecution requested Tuesday that the Supreme Court hold Former President Moshe Katsav's rape sentence appeal behind closed doors.

The prosecution submitted the unusual request in order to avoid harming the complainants' privacy and exposing evidence whose publication is banned, and in light of the fact that the previous debate was also carried out behind closed doors.

The former president's lawyers - Zion Amir, Avigdor Feldman, Avraham Lavie and Miki Hova - opposed the request and requested that the appeal be open to the public. They claim that the time has come to bring everything concerning this case "out of the dark."

According to Katsav's lawyers, the case has been discussed for two years behind the closed doors of the district court, even when technical and professional defense witnesses - whose evidence had nothing to do with the complainants and their identities - took the stand. "This case deserves to be opened to the public so that the public can take their own stand on the evidence, its interpretation, weight, [and its] appropriate and deserving context.

Katsav's lawyers also claim it is illogical that all evidence be made public by the district court, while the debate in the Supreme Court – which will deal with the rulings determined in the appeal of the district court – be held behind closed doors.

"The time has come to shed the light of justice on the case, and to present the calls for defense beside the 'calls for hanging,'" said Katsav's lawyers.

Katsav was sentenced in March to seven years in prison and two years probation for rape, indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice, becoming the first former Israeli head of state to be sentenced to prison.