Moshe Katzav appealed his conviction on rape and sexual harassment charges
The final appeal hearings in the trial of former Israeli President Moshe Katzav, convicted for rape and sexual harassment, pictured here in May 2011, were completed Thursday, Israeli media reported. © Lior Mizrahi - AFP/POOL/File
Moshe Katzav appealed his conviction on rape and sexual harassment charges
AFP
Last updated: August 12, 2011

Israel ex-president rape conviction appeal ends

The final appeal hearings in the trial of former Israeli President Moshe Katzav, convicted for rape and sexual harassment, were completed Thursday, Israeli media reported.

Katsav's lawyers had appealed his conviction and sentence and the Supreme Court is expected to reach a decision within weeks.

Katsav, 65, was sentenced in March to seven years behind bars after being convicted on two counts of rape and other offences in a scandal which has rocked Israel.

The judges also handed him a two-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay compensation of 100,000 shekels ($28,000/20,000 euros) to the main victim, known only as "Aleph", as well as 25,000 shekels ($7,000/5,000 euros) to a second victim.

Israeli public television suggested the three judges on the case might reduce Katzav's sentence.

Katsav's legal team argued the judges should have in first instance considered the possibility that their client had consensual relations with the two plaintiffs, Israeli media reported.

Throughout the 18-month trial, which included harrowing accusations, the former president was portrayed as a sexual predator who routinely harassed his female staff.

But he has denied the charges against him, saying he was the target of a media plot and that his interactions with his female staff were consensual.

The former president was scheduled to report to prison to begin serving his sentence on May 8, but Supreme Court justice Yoram Danziger agreed to delay the beginning of Katsav's sentence until he completed his appeal.

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