Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav walks towards the entrance to Maasiyahu prison in Ramle, near Tel Aviv, December 7, 2011.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A former adviser to former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav, who was a key witness at his trial for sexual assault, told The Jerusalem Post Thursday that the parole board’s decision to keep him in jail was a “responsible and fair decision that put the good of the victim ahead of the good of her attacker.”
Witness Odelia Karmon said the decision made her rest easier, and called it “principled, correct, and courageous in light of political pressure to set Katsav free.
“I am happy to see that, despite the criminal abandonment of the government in dealing with the issue of sexual assault and harassment, fair professionals who acted properly can still be relied upon.”
The one disappointment she voiced was with Katsav’s ability to request early release again in another six months. She said his lawyers used false claims about Katsav’s medical and psychological health to try to get him out of prison.
“There are no manipulations that Katsav hasn’t tried,” she said. “People who commit sexual assault and do not express regret must remain in prison, period.”
Karmon lamented that women remain fearful of bringing sexual assault complaints against public figures, as has been seen in some recent cases.
The case involving IDF Brig.- Gen. Ofek Buchris, she said, was an exception, but his victim later faced shaming and no one in government came forward to defend her.
Karmon, who was Netanyahu’s spokeswoman when she entered politics, said, “I blame the Netanyahu government for its negligence in never holding long-overdue deliberations on the issue of its treatment of sexual harassment and assault.”
Karmon worked for Katsav in the Transportation Ministry during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her own case against him was disqualified, because the statute of limitations had expired. But another opportunity came later when she was the main character witness to testify against him in court.