Former President Katsav, After Upheld Rape Conviction: I Feel No Guilt

Former president's associates say he is saddened Supreme Court did not listen to his version of events, in which he rejected the rape conviction and appealed the seven-year prison term handed to him.

Former President Moshe Katsav told his associates onThursday that he feels no guilt regarding the crimes attributed to him by Israel's Supreme Court, which upheld the Tel Aviv District Court's ruling to convict him of rape and other sexual offenses and to sentence him to seven years in prison. 

An close friend of Katsav said that the former president rejected the court's decision to uphold his seven-year rape sentence, but would continue to insist upon his innocence.

Katsav - Reuters - Nov 10, 2011

"He is strong and steadfast," said David Motai, a friend of the former president. "There is no reason in the world for anyone to bring him down. He knows his truth, he feels no guilt."

Motai continued to say that Katsav was upset the Supreme Court refused to listen to his version of the events, in which he claimed the sexual relations he had with the complainant were consensual.

"He is saddened that the court refused to listen to his claims," said Motai. "He told us, the system wouldnt hear my claims.

Motai continued, saying, He is surrounded by his family, they are supporting and strengthening him, and I call upon President Peres to pardon him. It is beneath us for the former president to sit in jail."

Earlier Thursday, Supreme Court Justices Miriam Naor, Edna Arbel and Salim Joubran entered the courtroom and read a summary of their decision to reject Katsav's appeal of his conviction, unanimously deciding not to intervene in the district court's ruling.

The court decided Katsav would begin serving his seven-year sentence on December 7.

The Supreme Court justices agreed that Katsav had lied when insisting that his sexual relations with the former Tourism Ministry employee, A., were consensual, thus validating her allegations of rape. .

קראו כתבה זו בעברית: האסיר מספר 1 || קצב למקורביו: המערכת לא הקשיבה לי, לא מרגיש אשם