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A former police chief inspector is one of the suspects in the case of the private investigators allegedly hired by former President Moshe Katsav to harass witnesses before his rape conviction appeal to the Supreme Court.

Danny Weig, 49, who has run afoul of law before and done some jail time, was arrested by the National Fraud Squad along with the head of a private detective agency whose name has not yet been released.

Weig was employed by the private investigator who had been allegedly hired to contact the husband of A. from the Tourism Ministry and one of her close friends to extract statements that could help Katsav in his appeal. A. is the woman Katsav was convicted of raping twice.

Police suspect that another private investigator was sent to contact a friend of A.'s who had been called as a defense witness during the trial in Tel Aviv District Court, and to contact an employee at the Jerusalem hotel at which one of the rapes Katsav was convicted of took place.

Weig, who does not have a PI license, decribed himself as a person who initiates conversations with people and gets them to incriminate themselves. A former officer in the National Serious Crimes Unit, he was dismissed from the force in 1991 after being involved in a fraudulent transaction.

Over the past 20 years, Weig has reportedly been successful in getting a string of suspects, including businessmen and politicians, to incriminate themselves. During the period, Weig was also arrested and served time for numerous instances of fraud, forgery and illegal wiretapping.

In 1999, he was sentenced to 40 months in jail by the Tel Aviv District Court in a case involving all three offenses.