Katsav 'maintains innocence' ahead of prison service

In 'New York Times' interview former president says Israel is becoming like Saudi Arabia: "A hug is a sex offense."

December 7, 2011 09:15
2 minute read.
Katsav support demonstration, Knesset

Katsav support demonstration, Knesset_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Katsav to enter prison, begin sentence for rape conviction
Katsav to be under suicide watch in prison

“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.”

Following the Supreme Court's rejection of Katsav's appeal, the former president expressed resentment that he was not allowed to testify before the High Court.

According to one close friend, David Mot'ei, who visited the former president at his Kiryat Malachi home, Katsav said that he thought the Supreme Court should have "heard his arguments, but the [judicial] system was not listening."

Katsav told Mot'ei that despite a seven-year prison sentence, "nothing could break him."

According to Mot'ei, who spoke to the press outside of Katsav's house, the former president appeared strong, and that despite the ruling, Katsav was sure that he "knew the truth."

The court rejected Katsav's defense that Aleph, Katsav's victim, lied in her version of the encounter between the two because she didn't complain at the time of the incident but waited until later. The ruling said there was no doubt that Katsav carried out the act with force.

The court also did not accept the line of defense that there was a romance between Aleph and Katsav.

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night