Katsav's Trial Testimony: The Rape Never Was and Never Existed

In defense testimony released Sunday by Tel Aviv court, former Israeli president denies all sexual assault allegations against him, says complainants were conspiring against him.

The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday released the defense testimony given by Former President Moshe Katsav during his rape trial, in which he adamantly denied the rape and sexual assault claims brought against him by several of his female employees.

Katsav, who has been sentenced to seven years in prison for rape, repeatedly rejected charges against him and claimed that all the allegations were laid as part of a plot against him.

Katsav Tel Aviv 22.3.11 Reuters

Katsav was charged with two counts of rape against the complainant publicly identified as A. from the Tourism Ministry, and was sentenced to seven years in prison in March.

Katsav rejected A.'s testimony that she had driven with him from a public event to his Tel Aviv office where he had raped her.

"It didn't happen. She didn't join me in my car I drove straight from the event to Kiryat Malachi (his hometown)," Katsav said during his trial.

"It never was and never existed," he added, over allegations that he raped the former Tourism Ministry employee.

When asked if he had ever hugged A., he responded, "Maybe a few times but with no sexual significance and no intention of wrongdoing."

Katsav also rejected A.'s claim that he forced her to write him love letters. "This did not happen. I never asked her to do that," he said, saying that another complainant, O. from the President's Residence, also had similar claims against him and that they were conspiring against him.

"A. from the Tourism Ministry is a master of recitation – she memorizes, recites, and attributes to herself quotes by other complainants," Katsav claimed.

Last week it was revealed that a private investigator hired by Katsav is suspected, along with two others, of harassing witnesses and other people involved in Katsav's rape trial.

The three are suspected of harassing a prosecution witness close to A., the former Tourism Ministry employee whom Katsav was convicted of raping twice, as well as a friend of A.'s who was called as a defense witness by Katsav's attorneys. The three also allegedly contacted A.'s husband and a reception clerk in the Jerusalem hotel where one of the rapes occurred; neither of these two testified at the trial.