Katsav’s lawyer: He’s in bad shape

Defense team opposes release of ‘censored’ version of court conviction; attorney says former president is in poor mental, emotional state.

By DAN IZENBERG
January 13, 2011 07:26
2 minute read.
Former president Moshe Katsav in courthouse

katsav in court 311. (photo credit: AP)

Former president Moshe Katsav is in a poor mental and emotional state, his lawyer Zion Amir told Army Radio on Wednesday.

“Those who wished to see Katsav’s downfall have gotten their wish,” Amir said. “The man is in an extremely bad way. Let me be more constrained and cautious in my wording. He is in a bad state.”

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Katsav was convicted two weeks ago of two rapes and other sexual crimes.

Also on Wednesday, the former head of state’s lawyers demanded that the Tel Aviv District Court either publish its full ruling, except for passages that might reveal the identity of the women who complained against their client, or refrain from publishing the ruling altogether.

The lawyers said the segments the court had blacked out ahead of Thursday’s scheduled publication helped to accurately reflect the testimony and details presented to the judges during the behind-closed- doors hearings.

“These are substantial and important details for understanding the events as they were presented to the court,” they told Ynet.

On Tuesday, the court issued a decision stating that it was permitting the publication of the entire ruling, “except for details that might reveal the identity of the complainants or cause serious harm to their privacy or the privacy of others.”

But the lawyers wanted the court to act much more restrictively and black out only those sections that directly revealed the identities of the complainants.

According to the court’s decision on Tuesday, the publication would be delayed until Thursday at noon, to give time to anyone who felt he might be harmed by it to object.

One of Katsav’s lawyers said he hoped the court would consider their objection before the full ruling was released. If the court decides to hold a hearing on the matter, Thursday’s scheduled publication will apparently be postponed.

In its brief to the court, Katsav’s lawyers wrote, “The release of only part of the ruling severely limits the presentation of the full factual picture to the reader. It could further inflame and incite the passions of the media and the public against the defendant.”

The lawyers’ concern is based in part on practical considerations, since they have already announced their intention to appeal Katsav’s conviction to the Supreme Court.

On the day of Katsav’s conviction, the court issued a 25-page summary of the ruling. The full ruling contains 314 pages.

In a related development, the hearing on the pleas for sentencing in the trial will be held on February 22, the court announced on Wednesday. The state has reportedly opposed media requests to allow live coverage of the hearing.


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