President Moshe Katsav is going through one of the most difficult periods in his life, if not the most difficult. This week, police interrogators visited his Jerusalem residency for the fifth time to question him over sexual assault accusations, wiretapping offenses, and bribery.
In an exclusive interview to Yedioth Ahronoth, Katsav said his family has been supportive and united in the face of intense pressure from the media and some politicians.
Katsav said the since the scandal broke out he has been struggling to sleep at night. "I haven't been sleeping for months. I take sleeping pills at night and other pills during the day," he said.
Asked about some friends and associates who abandoned him as the investigation's scope widened, Katsav said, "I have no anger or grievance … I understand them: these are serious accusations. I am certain that once the probe ends with the case being closed they will return."
He also sounded sympathetic to public concern that the scandal has marred the symbolic presidential seat. "I understand the feeling of the Israeli citizen in light of the numerous probes. My heart, my heart goes to the people of Israel … I don't wish this to happen to my enemies," he said.
"The biggest difficulty is seeing the sadness of the family. I am not scared and have no anxieties. I feel deep pain and I am very sad. I have to defend myself when my family is feeling the pain with me," he added.