Sunday 2 January 2011

Former Israeli President Convicted of Rape

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, center, leaves a court in Tel Aviv, 30 Dec 2010
Photo: AP
Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav, center, leaves a court in Tel Aviv, 30 Dec 2010
A panel of Israeli judges has found former President Moshe Katsav guilty of rape and other sex crimes against several women. Mr. Katzav, who served from 2000 until 2007, faces a possible sentence of up to 16 years in prison.
Former Israeli President Moshe Katzav had turned down a plea bargain and opted instead for a trial that he hoped would clear his name.

On Thursday, a panel of judges in Tel Aviv said the former leader's testimony was riddled with lies and declared him guilty on two counts of raping an employee while he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s.  The judges also convicted him of molesting or sexually harassing two other women during his time as president. 

Following the verdict, his son, Ariel Katzav, told reporters he believes his father is innocent.

The younger Katzav called it a difficult hour for the family. He said the family will continue to be proud of their father. He called the trial immoral, and one that was based on emotions. He said the family will continue to proclaim to everyone that Moshe Katzav is "innocent".

Israeli women's rights advocates welcomed the verdict.

Mr. Katzav, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, left the court without making any comments.  

The Prime Minister issued a statement calling it a sad day for the Jewish state.

Mr. Katzav's conviction Thursday was the latest in a series of highly publicized scandals involving top Israeli officials. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who led the country at the time Katzav was President, currently faces corruption charges.

The job of President in Israel is largely ceremonial but highly visible, and many Israelis see Mr. Katsav's conviction on sex offenses a national disgrace. 

However, Abraham Diskin, a politics professor at Hebrew University, tells VOA the fact that a sitting president was indicted and later convicted says much about the health of the Jewish state's democracy and institutions.

"It's definitely I think a very clear sign of the power of the judicial branch in Israel. In order to have a real democracy, too many conditions are necessary and let me say that the first of all these is to be ready to stick to reality and to the truth," said Diskin. 

The head of the judges' panel that convicted Mr. Katzav is a member of Israel's Arab minority. 

The former president is due to be sentenced in January. Under Israeli law, rape carries a minimum penalty of four years in prison and a maximum of 16.


  1. Pak Hussein,

    What do you think will happen to Rais Yatim if he is really found to have raped his maid, as reported?

  2. In Malaysia we have double standard judgements, one for the powers that be (which is untouchable ? )& one for the man in the street !
    What a big shit !

  3. Let us not count our chicken before they are hatched...they would have to catch him first! Then PDRM would have to investigate....then comes the Judiciary.....and to sustain it all through these tedious process ...will there be the political will to pursue one of their own?

    So you see Datuk it would be an "Eric Cheah" saga all over again...and we know how that ended.

  4. Malaysians are very funny. They like to be kay poh chee about how them Israelis treat them Palestinians. They scream, whinge, shout, rant and moan about injustices inflicted to the Palestinians. They call for justice and equality for their Palestinian brothers and sisters .... but in their own backyard, they consider it is ok to call them chinese, indians etc pendatangs.

    Before we go scream at how others treat their citizens, lets ensure our own house is in order first.

  5. Is this the same president that allegedly accorded Tun Dr.M the accounts for his "geng" in Bank of Israel in Singapore? Was that e-mail with all those accounts listed real or bull****?