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The High Court of Justice yesterday rejected a plea by former president Moshe Katsav to postpone his hearing, set for today, and ordered Katsav and the complainants to appear before it as planned at 2 P.M.

Katsav's lawyers had petitioned the court to provide them with more evidence from an investigation into the former president related to a separate hearing.

The court had not responded yet.

Therefore, they requested that today's hearing, a reading of his plea bargain, be postponed until a decision was made on the evidence.

The judges rejected Katsav's request.

"We have decided that the hearing will be held on April 8, 2008 at 2 P.M., and order all parties, including the accused, to be present," the judges wrote.

The former president resigned in June last year after several female employees accused him of various sex crimes.

Under the terms of a plea bargain Katsav later struck, he resigned his post two weeks before his term expired, confessed to sexual harassment, forcible indecent assault and harassing a witness.

In return he was to receive a suspended sentence, and rape charges were struck from the indictment.