'Broken.' Moshe Katsav
Photo: Ofer Amram

Legal experts: Katsav to get 4-7 years

Former president convicted of rape to be sentenced Tuesday morning. 'I regret the day I entered politics,' he tells associates, 'Judges did this to me with malicious intent.' Victim: I'm not vengeful, but court must send message

Legal experts said Monday, a day before Moshe Katsav was scheduled to be sentenced, that the former president will probably be spending 4-7 years in prison for rape and indecent acts committed against three women.


The experts added that the compensation for the three victims will probably be high. Katsav is scheduled to hear his sentence at 9 am Tuesday.


The former president's associates told Ynet he was having difficulty accepting his predicament. "It's terrible, I can’t understand how it came about. I regret the day I entered politics," they quoted him as saying. "The judges did this to me with malicious intent."


However, the associates said, the former president will likely appeal to the Supreme Court against both the conviction and sentence.


According to his associates, Katsav also said "I am broken and desperate. There was a lot of ill-will throughout the proceedings against me. The (guilty) verdict disgraces the judicial system. Despite everything, I want to fight so everyone will know a grave injustice has been done."


Yitzhak Saluki, who has been a good friend of Katsav for 50 years, says he plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. "It's a horrible tragedy. Moshe Katsav is no rapist, I have no doubt of that. The judges made a mistake," he said.


"I know Katsav. He is a gentle and beautiful soul. If he thought he was guilty and a rapist he would have taken the plea bargain, but he went through an entire year of torture to prove his innocence."


Saluki added that Katsav is still insisting on his innocence. "He prowls the house like a caged lion," he described. "All of his friends have disappeared."


In any case, it appears Katsav will not go to prison immediately, regardless of the sentence, as his attorneys have struck an agreement with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein allowing the former president a month and a half to prepare for his prison term. The court is expected to agree to these terms.


In addition, Katsav can appeal to the Supreme Court within 45 days. An appeal, however, will not delay the start of his prison term.


Complainant A. from the Tourism Ministry, who was raped by Katsav twice, told her associates, "I am not vengeful, but I think the court should send a message. Regardless of how many years he spends in prison, (Katsav) will always be a villain.


"The number of years (sentence) is not the issue here, but the harsh verdict, which proved that Katsav committed these despicable acts and raped me," she said.



פרסום ראשון: 03.21.11, 22:59
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