Moshe Katsav with wife Gila
Photo: Ido Erez

Katsav submits letter of resignation

Suspended president submits letter of resignation to Knesset speaker under severely criticized plea bargain with State Prosecutor's Office; Dalia Itzik to serve as acting president until Peres takes office

It’s official - Moshe Katsav is now the former president of the State of Israel: One day after signing the plea bargain that cause a stir in the Israeli public, the suspended president submitted his letter of resignation Friday morning.


The letter was sent with a messenger to the Speaker of the Knesset, Dalia Itzik. According to the agreement between the State Prosecutor’s Office and Katsav, the former president will be charged for indecent acts, will pay the victims compensations but will not be imprisoned.


Dalia Itzik will continue to serve as acting president for the next two weeks until the president elect, Shimon Peres, will be signed in.


Meanwhile, a poll conducted by Yedioth Ahronoth and the Dahaf Institute found that 69 percent of the public opposed the plea bargain with the suspended president.


The plea bargain received support only by 27 percent of Israelis; 63 percent still believe the complainant (86 percent among women and 58 among men), while 31 percent said they did not believe the complainant.


While 23 percent of the public thought that justice had come to light, 73 percent believed that justice was not served. However, 47 percent of the public was opposed to the attorney general, who approved the plea bargain, resigning his position, while 42 percent thought he should step down.


'Katsav terrorized my body and soul'

Thursday's plea bargain is still under attack by various members of the legal community. One senior such member told Ynet: "The decision is a complete failure for the prosecution, because even if his decision was appropriate, it showed the attorney general – as someone who fanned the flames of the affair on national television - as less than credible. It's as if he needed the defense attorneys to see that he does not have enough evidence against Katsav."


Professor Ariel Bendor of Haifa University said that although a plea bargain was signed, the court is not obligated to accept the plea. "Should the court decide there are sufficient differences between the original indictment and the revised one and the suggested punishment – the court can amend it.


"The court must first find the confession believable. If the court suspects that Katsav pleaded guilty simply to get it over with it can dismiss the plea," he said.


Following the removal of her name and accusations from the indictment, complainant A held a press conference to share her story with the public. She graphically told the media everything she had been put through at the President's Residence.


"The system has forfeited me and gave in to the powers that be," she said about the plea bargain. "By 'the powers that be,' I mean the man who terrorized my body and soul."


She described Katsav as a man who "would sit there at his desk every morning and take out his penis and stroke it and then ask me to sit beside him and touch it." 


פרסום ראשון: 06.29.07, 11:28
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