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Katsav in court
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Katsav 'depressed' after verdict
Affiliates of former president say he canceled scheduled meeting with lawyers because he is 'too upset to leave house' after rape conviction, opting even to invite friends over to pray instead of heading to synagogue as usual

Former President Moshe Katsav is depressed by the new word added to his title on Thursday – rapist – his affiliates said a day after the verdict.

 

Katsav was scheduled to meet with his lawyers Friday in light of the jail sentence hanging over his head, but they say he canceled the meeting because he does not want to leave his home in Kiryat Malachi.

 

"He is upset and doesn't want to go out," said an acquaintance of the former president, adding that friends and family fear for his life. "Katsav still refuses to digest the consequences of the verdict."

 

Israel's eighth president was convicted Thursday of the most serious crime ever attributed to an Israeli official.

 

He was found guilty of raping A. of the Tourism Ministry on two separate occasions, in addition to forceful indecent acts and sexual harassment.

 

On Friday Katsav did not head out to the synagogue to pray as usual, opting instead to host a number of friends at his home in order to complete a quorum. Even the grocer was summoned with produce in tow.

 

Both the prosecution and defense have begun preparing for the sentencing hearing. State prosecutors Ronit Amiel and Nissim Merom, State Prosecutor Moshe Lador and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein are expected to meet over the next few days to discuss the matter.

 

Katsav's attorneys, Avigdor Feldman, Zion Amir and Avi Lavie, are also preparing their arguments.

 

They intend to claim that the offences their client was convicted of are borderline events which occurred years ago.

 

Their central argument is expected to be based on "the media's conduct and the incitement campaign against Katsav." According to them, "journalists, commentators and polls turned against Katsav."

 

The former president will now have to face not only the upcoming prison sentence, but also civil suits the complainants intend to file, demanding compensation for the offenses.

 

 

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