Moshe Katsav - Moti Kimche
Former president Moshe Katsav with his lawyers. Photo by Moti Kimche
Text size

The verdict in former President Moshe Katsav's sex crimes trial will be handed down in an open-door hearing on Thursday, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled on Sunday.

This ruling came after Haaretz and other media organizations lobbied the court, which originally said the verdict would be read only behind closed doors.

Katsav is charged with sexual offenses against three different women, two of whom worked under him at the President's Residence; the third worked for him at the Tourism Ministry when he was tourism minister.

The trial was one of the most secretive ever conducted in Israel. Not only was it closed in its entirety to the media, but after initially promising to release transcripts of all testimony that did not infringe on the complainants' privacy, the court ended up releasing the testimony of exactly one of the dozenes of witnesses - attorney Raz Nizri, an aide to former attorney general Menachem Mazuz - along with both sides' opening statements and a few excerpts from their summations.

Katsav's alleged offenses include two counts of rape, forcible indecent assault and sexual harassment.

The former president is also charged with intimidating a witness and obstructing justice.

The trial began in September 2009, with Katsav himself taking the stand in January 2010. The court finished hearing the evidence in April and the parties delivered their summations in June. Since then, everyone has been waiting for the verdict.