Katsav Attorneys Drop Former President as Client

Move comes in light of judicial decision to hold the rape trial for four days a week starting in September.

The attorneys of Moshe Katsav announced on Monday they were dropping the former president as a client after a judicial decision Sunday to hold the rape trial against him for four days a week starting in September.

"In light of the discourse the court has chosen to conduct, we say that a lightning trial is not a fair trial, but a 'fudging' of a trial," wrote lawyers Avigdor Feldman, Tzion Amir and Avraham Lavi.

They used the same word for "fudging" (meriha) that judge George Kara used Sunday when he said say he refused to "stretch out" the hearings.

"The undersigned do not desire to 'stretch out,'" the lawyers added, "but to hold a fitting and proper defense for the defendant and meet our professional obligations to other clients."

They continued: "No one wants to see this sad chapter end more than our client," adding that they took on the assignment in order to provide the most professional legal counsel in a case whose complicated details are well-known to the public.

The attorneys also said that despite the fact the trial has yet to begin, "It appears as though the court believes the trial is a battle over who will surrender first ? the court or defense attorneys."

Katsav's attorneys on Sunday said the former president wants his rape trial to be open to the public. This came in response to the prosecution's request to hold the proceedings behind closed doors.

The attorneys stressed that it was not Katsav's "privacy" that was affected by the proceedings so far, but his "honor."

Katsav has been charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexually assaulting plaintiff A. from the Tourism Ministry; sexually assaulting H. from the President's Residence; sexually harassing and commiting an indecent act on L. from the President's Residence; harassing a witness and obstruction of justice.