Released tapes of ex-president Katsav show him willing to pay off complainant
Recording follows Katsav's conviction for rape last week; Katsav can be heard on tape asking A. from the President's Residence, 'How much?' to which she responds, 'I think $200,000 and I'm not joking one bit.'
A tape recording in which former President Moshe Katsav documented what he calls an attempt to extort him was released on Channel 2's main newscast Sunday night.
Katsav was convicted of rape last week; the main complainant in that case was a woman known as A. from the Tourism Ministry. In the tape released Sunday, the woman known as A. from the President's Residence can be heard.
Katsav gave the tape to then-Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, but this backfired, helping uncover suspicions against him of a series of sexual assaults on women who worked for him.
Another recording aired Sunday is of Katsav associate Uri Yoeli trying to persuade A. from the President's Residence to meet with him to convince her to drop her claims against Katsav.
Katsav can be heard on the tape asking the woman calmly how much money she wanted from him: "How much?" "I think $200,000 and I'm not joking one bit," she says. Katsav then responds: "Just a minute, but I can't be heard in anything that you have. So what will you do? You have your material, I have mine."
A. from the President's Residence then says to Katsav: "You know what you are; I know who I am .... I can't stand this room." She later adds: "I'm in a crisis, Moshe, and not even $2 million will save my life. I'm under the care of a psychologist now, did you know that?" In another conversation, A. can be heard saying to Katsav: "Moshe, sit down and think about all this on your own, I'm sorry to say. My life is over. I've ruined my life. You, not me. Shouldn't I have a life? There's no reason in the world." In another recording, this time made by A., the two can be interpreted to have had ties that went beyond a normal working relationship. Katsav can be heard saying to A.: "You gave me up. You gave it all up because of some .... Well, I don't want to go there."
A. answers: "You're lying. Katsav says: "No, believe me." A. then reiterates: "You're lying and we both know the truth. We're both actors. You're the lead actor, what you did." Katsav answers: "I swear; I'm no actor. You're the actress ... between us there was no ..."
A. answers: "What did you do? Divide and conquer, that's what you did. Do you care that I got run over in the middle?" Katsav answers: "I swear to you that I didn't do anything with her, I didn't have anything with her." A. then asks the president: "What's that photo of her half-naked that I found in your drawer?" Katsav answers: "A photo from Purim."
The recordings also document part of an alleged campaign by Katsav's associates to pressure A. into withdrawing her complaint against the president. Yoeli, a businessman and close friend of Katsav, suggested to A. on tape that they meet to discuss her claims, to which she responds: "What do you think I'm going to want? Uri, really, with all due respect to everyone, I have no business with anyone but Moshe Katsav. I don't want any third party interfering."
In its verdict against Katsav, the the court sharply criticized Yoeli for what it called "creating evidence" for Katsav for "a rainy day."
The court said Yoeli recorded his conversations with A. from the Tourism Ministry to prove that she wanted to work with Katsav even after the rape. Katsav's side hoped this would prove it was unlikely that Katsav had raped her.
He also led her to believe that Katsav was looking for a job for her and encouraged her to call Katsav to find out what was happening; she then left many messages at the president's office. Katsav later used these messages to claim that A. from the Tourism Ministry had sought a relationship with him.
Yesterday it was also reported that the police intelligence and investigations chief, Yoav Segalovitch, called A. from the President's Residence to congratulate her for leading to the break in the case, although her case was not part of the indictment.
The police confirmed that the two had spoken after the verdict.
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