Aides: Katsav to 'explode myth' to press

Sources close to former president say he'll cast new light on proceedings against him at press forum.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
March 12, 2009 00:07
2 minute read.
Aides: Katsav to 'explode myth' to press

katsav and lawyer 248 88 aj. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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Sources close to Moshe Katsav promised Wednesday that the former president will cast new light on the legal proceedings against him during a press conference on Thursday evening, hinting that he would blast the Justice Ministry and deliver new revelations about the women who are likely to testify against him. "We are in the midst of a myth and tomorrow it will be exploded," Katsav's public relations advisor Ronen Tzur said. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz would only enjoy public support until people learned how the Justice Ministry had handled the case, Tzur said. Meanwhile, Channel 2 broadcast audiotapes Wednesday night in which they said the lead complainant against Katsav, "Tourism Ministry Aleph," was heard calling the former president after he allegedly raped her and berating him for not hiring her to work at Beit Hanassi after he was elected president in 2000. Katsav's press conference was initially scheduled for Wednesday evening, but late Tuesday it was postponed. Although Katsav attorney Zion Amir reiterated to The Jerusalem Post claims that the delay was due to "technical problems," pundits suggested it was geared to place Katsav's comments in Friday's newspapers, which have higher readership. On Wednesday evening, Katsav's public relations team said the ex-president would answer journalists' questions at the event, which is set to be held in an events hall in Kiryat Malachi. Katsav is reportedly drafting his remarks mostly by himself, and members of his inner circle have hinted that the press conference will be every bit as newsworthy as his press conference at Beit Hanassi in January 2007, at which he announced that he would take a leave of absence from the presidency. On Wednesday, Channel 2 announced that Gadi Sukenik, who was the focus of Katsav's tirade during his last press conference, would be part of the broadcast team during the Thursday evening press conference. In January 2007, during the Beit Hanassi press conference, Katsav accused Sukenik of participating in a witch-hunt against him, but on Wednesday evening, Tzur told Sukenik that he would be welcome at this week's event. Also on Wednesday, Ometz-Citizens for Social and Legal Justice in Israel issued a statement blasting an "unacceptable phenomenon" in which "high-profile suspects hire the services of public relations advisers who use the media to sway public opinion in their favor. "This illegitimate phenomenon reached its peak in recent days when former president Moshe Katsav's family members - led by attorney Lior Katsav - decided to attack the attorney-general and to accuse him of various allegations of vengefulness in his decision to submit an indictment against Katsav." Ometz's announcement came less than a day after Israel Bar Association chairman Yori Guy-Ron also slammed the Katsav team's attempts to discredit Mazuz, calling on "all those involved to stop the unbridled attacks against the attorney-general and to stop running the battle through the press."

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