Former president Moshe Katsav maintained his innocence on Tuesday, the day before he was scheduled to begin serving a seven-year prison term for convictions of rape and sexual harassment.
“When I was president, I received 10,000 pardon requests,” he said. “They all claimed they had been the victims of injustice. I am so sorry that I immediately rejected those claims. Now I believe that some of them were innocent,” Katsav told The New York Times in an interview at his home in Kiryat Malachi.
“I’m about to pay the price for something I haven’t done,” Katsav told the Times. “I’ve hugged and kissed women but not in an inappropriate way. We’ve become like Saudi Arabia. A hug is a sex offense.”