Moshe Katsav - Alon Ron - 22.3.2011
Ex-president Moshe Katsav in Tel Aviv after his sentencing, March 22, 2011. Photo by Alon Ron
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Former President Moshe Katsav will immediately lose his NIS 1.8 million in annual state benefits now that the court has decided that the sexual offenses of which he was convicted also involve moral turpitude.

Katsav was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison. In December, he was convicted of two counts of rape, indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.

The annual state benefits, to which all former presidents are entitled for the rest of their lives, are intended to fund an office, aides, secretaries, a car and driver, a daily newspaper and a phone. The funds can also go toward maintaining contact with the public and home upkeep expenses.

Katsav recently gave up his office in Ramat Gan and has not been employing any staff - but now he must give up his other perks, too.

Outgoing MK Haim Oron (Meretz ), who pushed through the Knesset Finance Committee decision to revoke the perks from any president or prime minister convicted of an offense involving moral turpitude, said yesterday that Katsav's planned appeal does not affect the loss of his benefits. They can only be restored if the moral turpitude ruling is overturned, Oron said.