Katzav complaintant A.   Moti Kimche
A. from the President’s Residence at a press conference in 2007. Photo by Moti Kimche
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Feeling relief at the closing of a difficult ordeal, President Moshe Katsav’s victims expressed a sense yesterday that justice had been served with the court’s acceptance of the credibility of their testimony.

The complainant who has been identified as A. from the Tourism Ministry, and whom Katsav was convicted of raping on two separate occasions, watched the coverage of the reading of the verdict with a group of friends, and was not able to hold back tears.

A friend, Dror Nissan, said A. had experienced a real release of tension with the conviction. He said A. had gone through difficult periods but was nonetheless considering filing a civil lawsuit after the backing she received from yesterday’s verdict.

Nissan said A. testified for 12 difficult days against Katsav over events she has been carrying inside of her since they occurred in 1998 and 1999.

“Now everything is concluding with a huge catharsis, a feeling that a weight is being lifted off her back,” he said.

Another friend of A. from the Tourism Ministry, Yaron Armoza, said it was important to A. for the Katsav case to bring about social change in Israel and that she hoped it would encourage other women to come forward and file complaint without fear even if it requires time before justice is served.

Another complainant, A. from the President’s Residence, was instrumental in pushing the case forward, but her allegations against Katsav were not ultimately included in the indictment against the president.

“I salute the women who were courageous enough to complain and I am happy that the court brought the truth to light,” she said in a statement yesterday. “It was my lot to put an end to the suffering of many women who worked under Moshe Katsav and to prevent suffering by other women.”