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“The former Israeli president Moshe Katsav is facing seven years in prison after being found guilty on multiple charges of rape and sexual harassment. Katsav, of the center-right Likud party, was president from 2000-2007.” (euronews)
One headline reads -- “From Citizen Number One, to Inmate Number One.”
Another -- “From President to Prisoner.”
A former Israeli President -- and father of five children -- sentenced to seven years in prison for raping former subordinates.
Moshe Katsav was once Tourism Minister -- and rose to become President -- before his calamitous collapse.
A former Presidential employee identified only as “D” tells Arutz Sheva -- this wasn’t justice. It was a kangaroo court.
"’It was clear to all the women who worked in the bureau that the relationship between Katzav and the complainant was based on full consent,’ D. said. ‘Katzav was not a rapist and there was no rape.’"
But sympathy has been scarce for the native Iranian, who moved to Israel as a child. The Jersualem Post says the sentence brings to an end a five-year saga where Katsav brashly played an “all-or-nothing” card rejecting any attempt at a plea bargain -- in which he would have avoided jail.
“The affair started with claims by Katsav that he was being blackmailed by an employee, and continued through a long investigation … two harsh press conferences at which he hurled blanket accusations at the press, and finally a long, seemingly endless trial that culminated in a decisive conviction in December.”
In that same coverage -- the Post’s legal analyst notes -- the strategy seemed to backfire into a harsher sentence than current Israeli law calls for.
“I think many people would be surprised by the severity of the sentence. Uh, the current Israeli law has a minimum sentence of four years for rape offenses. The law doesn’t apply to Katsav because he committed the acts before the law came into place. But everybody thought that would be a fair benchmark.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, this ruling sends an important message to all Israeli’s -- no one is above the law.
“No one is above the law, even a president or a senior figure … Every woman has a right over her body, the right for respect and freedom, and no one has the right to take these things from her.”
And a columnist for Ha’aretz notes this sends a message to all in power -- all around the world.
“Had Katsav not stood trial, the fish would have rot from the head down, and his talented attorneys would have succeeded, heaven forfend, in turning their client into a model for those authority figures looking to continue to exercise their power improperly.”
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