Tel Aviv District Court Delays Release of Full Katsav Verdict

Former president found guilty of two cases of rape and other sexual offenses; Short summary of 318-page verdict is all that has been published.

The Tel Aviv District Court released an order on Thursday which would delay the full release of the verdict from the trial of former president Moshe Katsav.

Katsav was found guilty of two cases of rape and of other sexual offenses. The court has thus far released only a 29-page summary out of the 318-page verdict.

The stay of exit order will delay the release of the full verdict until this Sunday at 12 P.M. Minor edits will be made to protect the victims' identities.

The court has yet to rule on the media's request that Katsav's sentencing hearing be open to the public, nor has it decided whether to let journalists examine the testimony and evidence presented in the case. Katsav has no objections to either request, but the prosecution does.

Prosecutors have said they wanted the sentencing hearing, which is due to take place later this month, closed to the media. They would not oppose subsequent publication of an edited transcript of the proceedings, as long as all references to the victims' lives, their suffering, the circumstances of Katsav's assaults and so forth were removed.

With regard to the evidence, prosecutors said they object to publishing the testimony of any of the complainants or their associates, or any other evidence relating to them, so as to protect their privacy and not deter other sexual assault victims from filing a complaint.

But Katsav's attorneys want all the evidence published, and not just selected portions.