A. from President's Residence (Archives)
Photo: Noam Moskovich
Former President Moshe Katsav on Thursday
Photo: Omer Miron
Attorney Ronit Amiel
Photo: Abigail Uzi

'Katsav should have gotten harsher sentence'

Woman who blew lid off of rape case against former president says he would have gotten longer prison term if more victims were included in suit. State Prosecutor's Office: Ruling sends unequivocal message to those in positions of power

The woman who broke the code of silence and complained about being sexually harassed by former President Moshe Katsav called for a harsher punishment for the disgraced leader, after the Supreme Court upheld his rape conviction and his seven-year prison sentence on Thursday.


The court rejected Katsav's appeal, in a ruling that sealed one of the most embarrassing debacles in the state's history. Katsav is to begin his confinement on December 7 after being convicted of two counts of rape and other sexual offenses.


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The complainant, A., who was employed by the President's Residence when she was assaulted, said Thursday that "Today, it has been proven above all doubt that Israel's former president is a rapist."


"נפל מאיגרא רמא לבירא עמיקתא" (צילום: רויטרס)

Katsav on Thursday (Photo: Reuters)


Despite the vindication, she said that she was disappointed that she was exluded from the law suit that was brought against Katsav, and was not summoned to testify against him in court.


"His sentence should have been harsher," she said, adding that it would have been possible if all his victims were included in the indictment.


The State Prosecutor's Office lauded the court's decision, saying that it sends an unequivocal message to those in positions of power and sexual harassment victims alike.


"The message that is evident from this Supreme Court ruling is that the principle of equality before the law applies in absolute terms in the State of Israel," State Prosecutor Ronit Amiel told Ynet.


"This is a an important and fundamental ruling," the second prosecutor in the case, Nissim Marom, said. "It sends a clear message to victims that they can complain, that there is nothing to fear."


Internal probe to be launched

Amid criticism of its handling of the case, the State Prosecutor's Office is slated to set up a special team to hold an extensive inquiry into the State's functioning in the case, Ynet learned Thursday. State Prosecutor Moshe Lador will participate in the process.


On Thursday, Lador convened a press conference where he announced the State Prosecutor's Office intentions to draw lessons from the affair. The Justice Ministry confirmed that a probe will be conducted.


On Sunday, the Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs will consider a bill proposing to set up an ombudsman position to monitor the State Prosecutor's Office. Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman supports the bill, whereas Lador opposes it.




פרסום ראשון: 11.10.11, 20:16
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