Confidential protocols are out. The Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday cleared for publication the defense testimonies in the trial of former President Moshe Katsav.
Katsav repeatedly rejected the claims made by the complainants - testimonies which in some cases, could not be included due to the statute of limitations.
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In response to A.C.'s testimony, Katsav said: "It might have been flirting from her point of view, but from my perspective there was no flirting. I don't deal in gossip."
As for claims that he took out his sexual organ, he said: "It never happened, horrifying, hideous, it's not me. I never, never would think that someone would say something like that, so sickening."
A.C. said that Katsav had sexually assaulted her when he was transportation minister but her complaint did not make it into the indictment because of the statute of limitations. The former president resolutely denied that he had any sexual contact with her: "I never touched any of her forbidden parts. Not her breasts or anywhere else."
Defense Attorney Zion Amir asked Katsav if he tends to wear an undershirt as described by the complainant: "No one would catch me in my undershirt. In my own home, other than my wife and kids, no one sees me with an undershirt."
Close relationship?"In the 20 years I knew A.C. I didn't know she felt so much anger towards me," Katsav claimed, "I'm only discovering it now because of this affair. Does it stem from her not being invited to my 60th birthday party, and she was very angry and it bothered her?"
He also told of how in 1996, ahead of the elections, A.C. passed him Labor Party information. "She came and revealed secrets of Labor Party polls on the eve of the elections in 1996. I called the Labor Party campaign headquarters and reported it." He also stressed: "I was never in love with her."
The former president who was convicted of rape also addressed the testimony of N.A, saying that "it was a close relationship, good, warm – within the limits of what was appropriate. In no way whatsoever, heaven forbid did the tips of my fingernails touch her."
He gave the example of a meeting between French President Sarkozy's then wife Cecilia and himself: "I told him and her – you have a beautiful smile. That is my style, and she liked it."
'I was never with A. in a hotel room'
Asked whether he raped A. who worked with him at the Tourism Ministry in a hotel room, Katsav claimed, "I wasn't at the hotel on June 17, 1998. I wasn't with A. from the Tourism Ministry in any hotel on any other day.
The former president denied that he had glorified the women who worked with him in exchange for sexual favors.
"There was no honey trap. A honey trap is possible when I promise someone something, give her a senior role, give her extra authorities, favor her over others, take her on trips abroad.
"There is no shortage of measures a minister can use," Katsav added, "and she didn't get anything from me to make her feel that she was being favored. I treated her just like I treated all other bureau chiefs who came before her."
Asked why he fired A., Katsav responded: "She wanted to come into my room and stop others from coming in. She didn't like it when others came in alone and not with her, and she always wanted to be in my room."
He slammed the complainant, claiming that she was surrounded by media advisors and "a psychological advisor in order to make her lies kosher, in order to legitimize the lies she voiced."
He also criticized the media, saying "I can't say for sure that the journalists didn't pay her for the interviews she gave."
Earlier this month another twist was added to the affair when it was revealed that police suspected Katsav, or his relatives, of hiring the services of two private investigators who harassed witnesses during the trial. Katsav and his brother Lior were questioned over the suspicions and the private investigators involved were arrested.
Katsav presented his appeal over his conviction to the High court two months ago and asked that the sentence be postponed in a bid to delay his seven-year prison sentence. Katsav was supposed to begin serving his sentence two months ago but High Court judge Yoram Dantzinger decided to delay the sentence until the appeal is decided.
Aviad Glickman contributed to this report
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