Former Israeli President Charged Guilty on Two Charges of Rape

Published: December 30th 2010
in News » Israel

Former President, Moshe Katsav, charged on two counts of rape

An Israeli court convicted former president, Moshe Katsav, of rape, sexual harassment, committing an indecent act while using force, harassing a witness, and obstruction of justice.


His offense is said to be the most serious criminal charge brought against a high-ranking official in the history of Israel.


Katsav, 65, is expected to receive between 4 to 16 years in prison for the crimes committed which include two counts of raping an employee in 1998 when he was employed as tourism minister, as well as lesser counts of indecent acts and sexual harassment involving other women who worked for him while he was acting President.


Katsav served as minister in several right-wing Likud governments before 2000 when he was elected president.


He has denied rape charges, claiming he is victim of a political witch-hunt. He suggests that he was targeted because he comes from Israel’s Sephardic community. In Israel, Sephardic Jews (of Middle Eastern origin) were considered underclass for decades. Katsav was born in Iran and relocated to Israel as a young child.


After the sentence was read, Katsav left the courtroom without comment, surrounded by his legal team. He was immediately ordered to surrender his passport while he waited for his sentence.


The former president can appeal the verdict if he pleases, but legal experts believe Israel’s Supreme Court will not overturn their conviction. A presidential pardon is also highly unlikely considering the magnitude of the offenses. It also doesn’t help that the judge stated Katsav’s defense was chalk full of lies.


Boaz, Katsav’s son, has vowed to clear his father’s name.


“We will continue to walk with our heads high and all the nation with God’s help, will know that father, the eighth president of the state of Israel, is innocent,” he said.

Related articles: (Israel, Katsav, Supreme Court, rape, guilty, president)
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