Ynet has learned that Katsav's legal team on Thursday filed a petition to receive a 45-day extension in order to prepare the detailed motion for an additional hearing before a larger panel of judges, all just two weeks before he is set to start serving his sentence. The legal team did not seek to have Katsav's sentence delayed.
- Katsav: I will not commit suicide Court: Katsav's rape conviction stands
- Op-ed: Who is Moshe Katsav?
"After an in-depth look at the verdict arguments the undersigned concluded that there is room to file a motion for an additional hearing," the request stated. This, they said, "in light of the extent of the verdict and the nature of the questions raised in it as well as the need to prepare a well reasoned motion."
Katsav: Will he get another day in court? (Photo: Omer Meron)
A motion for an additional hearing is usually filed in response to a legal question that is raised and needs clarification. In this case, it is possible that the lawyers will motion for a hearing over the question of the alibi and whether the relations were consensual.
Two weeks ago judges Edna Arbel, Miriam Naor and Salim Joubran ruled unanimously against the appeal. The three are considered strict judges, who often favor severe sentences, especially for sex offenders. Katsav is set to begin serving his seven year sentence on December 7.
In interviews he gave to the media last week Katsav stressed that he was "in the midst of an emotional turmoil. I've hit rock bottom." He then assured interviewers that contrary to rumors, he did not intend to take his own life.
In response to the judges' decision to reject his appeal, Katsav said: "I respect the judges' decision, but they were wrong. My conviction cannot be based solely on the ruling that the main witness is reliable."
He then added: "I promise my family that I will be strong, but even iron hit as many times as I have been hit in the past five years – eventually bends."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop