Katsav: All worn out
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Mazuz: A big deal
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Katsav admits affectionately kissing, caressing

Suspended president says he decided to make admission out of exhaustion although his family pledged their full support

Suspended President Moshe Katsav signed a plea bargain Thursday in which he admitted a number of sexual assaults in return for the dropping of rape charges.


His associates said Katsav told them: "I am tired, my family is wrecked, I do not have the stamina for a battle in court, so I admitted to hugging and kissing out of affection."

Mazuz's Announcement
Katsav won’t be jailed, Mazuz says  / Aviram Zino
Attorney general announces suspended president, State Prosecutor's Office have reached plea bargain. Indictment includes indecent assault against two complainants; Katsav to receive suspended sentence, pay compensation and resign
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According to Katsav's close associates, he decided to sign the plea bargain only to stop the suffering his family was being put through. "He is not happy," they said.


Katsav's attorneys were in favor of the plea bargain. His family supported him and told him that they would continue to support him no matter what he decided to do. He told them that he "prefers to save millions on legal defense and admit to these acts that might have been committed out of affection."


Speaking with family members, Katsav said that he still felt that he had been lynched by the media.


Katsav will not serve time

The plea bargain was signed several minutes before noon when Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, made his public statement.


The indictment will be filed at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court next week, after which the suspended president will submit his resignation from the presidency.


"The president will be indicted for a series of indecent assaults against a woman who worked at his office in the Tourism Ministry, which translate into a criminal offense with a maximum punishment of seven years.


"In addition, the indictment will include a sexual harassment offense against a complainant who worked at the President's Residence, and harassing a witness against one of the complainants from the President's Residence. The president will admit to the indictment and will take responsibility," Mazuz said.


"The punishment agreed upon was a suspended sentence and compensation to the complainants… In addition, the president will submit his resignation to the Knesset Speaker as an act of taking personal responsibility for his conduct," he added.


Addressing claims made since Wednesday, as if the accusations had 'shrunk,' Mazuz replied: "When the president admits, it is not trivial. If someone says that the mountain turned out to be a mole hill, I am unfamiliar with such big mole hills.


"From the status of the State of Israel's number one citizen, the president has descended to a person guilty of a sex offense, with all the personal and public disgrace which will accompany him. This is not a mole hill, and if it is," the attorney general asked, "how big is a mountain?"


פרסום ראשון: 06.28.07, 14:21
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