katsav - Tal Cohen - February 22 2011
Moshe Katsav Photo by Tal Cohen
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The Tel Aviv District Court yesterday released previously confidential testimony in the rape case against former President Moshe Katsav.

Katsav was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of rape and other sexual offenses. But he has not yet begun serving his sentence, and this week, he asked the Supreme Court to stay his entry into jail until it rules on his appeal.

The evidence released yesterday includes testimony by Yoav Segalovich, the chief of the police investigations and intelligence division; MK Shelly Yachimovich (Labor ), who had met with one of Katsav's victims, a woman publicly identified only as A. from the Tourism Ministry; Yaron Armuza, a friend of A.; and the families of the victims.

Segalovich's testimony reveals that he took Katsav's lawyers to task for accusing officials dealing with their client's case of leaking information to the media - when in fact, he charged, the lawyers themselves were leaking information.

Yachimovich testified that A. was frightened and horrified by her experience. In her conversation with the MK, A. was hysterical and panicked and expressed concern that her phone had been tapped, Yachimovich said.

The release of the testimony comes a week before the Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether to grant Katsav's request to defer his sentence. The timing prompted indignation among some judges. One district court judge said the release of the testimony should have been delayed until after the hearing.