JERUSALEM – Israel’s Supreme Court yesterday rejected an appeal lodged by Moshe Katsav, the former president, against his conviction for rape and other sexual offences, and upheld his seven-year jail term, ‘The Telegraph’said.
The disgraced 65-year-old showed little emotion as the three justices read out their decision, decreeing that Katsav would begin serving his sentence on December 7. He was convicted in December 2010 of two counts of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice after an 18-month trial which included harrowing accusations, and portrayed him as a sexual predator who routinely harassed his female staff.
In March, the court sentenced him to seven years behind bars, which Katsav also appealed. But the judges upheld the sentence which will begin in four weeks time. In a unanimous ruling, the three judges upheld Katsav’s conviction on two counts of rape and rejected his “alternative scenarios” – he had argued that the two were having an affair and that the sex was consensual.
The former head of state was convicted of twice raping a victim identified as “Aleph” during his term as tourism minister, and sexually assaulting and harassing two other women while he was president. He was forced to resign as president in June 2007, handing the largely-ceremonial office to former rival Shimon Peres.