Katsav to be sentenced by mid-January, Lador says

State prosecutor: Prosecution will measure both severity of offenses, former president’s behavior during trial when suggesting punishment.

By RON FRIEDMAN
January 1, 2011 20:18
2 minute read.
Lador

Lador. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The prosecution will issue its recommendation for the sentencing of former president Moshe Katsav within two weeks, State Attorney Moshe Lador said on Saturday. Lador added that in formulating a punishment, the prosecution would take into consideration the severity of Katsav’s offenses and his behavior during the trial.

“All the considerations will be taken into account – the gravity of the crime, the way Katsav conducted himself throughout the trial and the way he prepared for the trial, going back all the way to the 1990s,” said Lador during an interview on Channel 2’s Meet the Press.

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The court verdict characterized Katsav’s preparedness and familiarity with the trial as near-perfect, and when judging in favor of the plaintiffs, took note of the former president’s meticulous defense strategy, which it called “manipulative.”

Lador also defended the prosecution’s decision to sign a plea bargain with Katsav prior to the trial. The prosecution has come under attack over the past few days for having agreed to the deal, in light of the weight of the eventual conviction.

“In every case there is a chance for an acquittal – and this case was no exception, no matter what the verdict was,” said Lador.

The state attorney claimed that new information had been added to the case and new personnel come aboard during the period between Katsav’s announcement that he was calling off the deal and the filing of the final indictment.



Lador himself came to lead the prosecution, shortly before the indictment.

“There is a difference between the investigative material in the hands of the prosecution at the time of the plea bargain and the material we eventually presented to the judges, which led to the conviction,” said Lador. “New attorneys who came onto the case also added fresh, new opinions.”

Lador defended the decision not to include “Aleph” from Beit Hanassi in the indictment, claiming that in his opinion, an indictment in her case could not lead to a conviction.

He said the prosecution would not revisit the evidence in place at the time the plea bargain was signed, but would look into some of the other problematic points in the case: primarily, the state’s treatment of the women who complained, the amount of information that was leaked to the public, and the decision to sign the plea bargain before the investigation had been completed.

Lador also addressed the progress on two other highprofile cases involving political figures.

Referring to the case against Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the state attorney said it was extremely difficult because of the amount and complexity of the investigation material.

“I also think it has taken a very long time to file an indictment – but a big part of that is owing to the nature of the evidence,” Lador said.

Regarding the decision to appeal the court’s decision in the case of former Kadima MK Tzachi Hanegbi despite the fact that the appeal deadline had passed without action by the prosecutors – who were on strike at the time – Lador said the prosecution was adamant about seeing justice served.

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