The Supreme Court will decide in the next few days whether former president
Moshe Katsav’s seven-year prison term for two counts of rape, and other
felonies, will be postponed until the appeals process is
Katsav’s defense team on Wednesday used every possible angle
to convince Justice Yoram Danizger that their client should not appear to be a
“prisoner” at the appeals hearings, but rather a “citizen.”
Ban lifted on Katsav trial testimony: 'He really
Katsav to appeal conviction, sentence to Supreme
do not like symbols and ceremonies, but would hate to think that the president
of the state would enter prison... and undergo the entire humiliation ceremony,
only to be acquitted later on.
Such a possibility exists,” defense
attorney Avigdor Feldman argued. “His dignity is our dignity.”
also stressed that the former president poses no danger to the public, and will
not attempt to escape the punishment.
Additionally, he noted that neither
the police nor prosecution demanded that Katsav’s freedoms be compromised in any
way during the investigation and trial.
Katsav’s lawyers filed an appeal
to the Supreme Court last week over the Tel Aviv District Court’s conviction of
The State Attorney’s Office, however, maintained that the former
president should be treated like any other felon.
“Legally, this is a
The defendant was charged with a felony,” said Aryeh Peter,
the State Attorney Office’s representative at the hearing.
start serving his sentence before the appeal begins,” Peter added. “It is in the
public interest for Katsav to go to jail right away.”
president’s prison sentence was already delayed once. He was expected to enter
prison on Sunday, but Danizger ruled that Katsav can remain free until a final
decision is made.Ron Friedman contributed to this report.