Tzippi Livni 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
leader Tzipi Livni said Wednesday that the sentencing of former
president Moshe Katsav to seven years in prison for rape and other
charges is a lesson for other politicians to follow a "straight path."
is a sad ending to a journey that brought a child from [Kibbutz]
Maabarot to the highest office in the State of Israel," Livni said in a
statement. "Moshe Katsav crossed a line and became a symbol for all that
angers us about him...aggressiveness, rape, humiliating women, and
disgracing our courts."
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"This day gives hope to anyone who wants
to see an Israel that has been wiped clean of corruption and crime. If the president
goes to jail, then no one is immune to our system of jurisprudence," she
Livni said that Katsav should serve as a signal to all politicians in Israel.
this day all members of Knesset, ministers, and other figures of power
realize that they must be wary. The only legitimate path is the straight
one, one with strict adherence to the law, one that opposes sexual
exploitation, rape, abuse of authority, bribery and corruption," she
One lawyer in the case against the former president was
less complimentary of how the case ended, saying his imprisonment is "no
victory," and that his victims were also victims of the "legal system
and the media."
On the morning when Katsav began his seven-year
prison sentence, Kinneret Brashi, a lawyer for rape victim Aleph from
the President's Residence, criticized the legal system and how the case
got a lot of criticism - not only for the legal system, but also for
the media. The victims were not only victims of Moshe Katsav," she said.
"I'm not calling what happened today a victory, and I know that I won't
be able to shun my feelings. I know what happened behind closed doors,"
she said, referring to the Tel Aviv District Court proceedings that were
closed to the media.
"This is no victory, but rather a failure and great disappointment for the system, together with the courts," she said.
"This case was sealed. I think that the public needed to be exposed to
additional details attesting to the failure of the system. I assume that
the day will come and all will be revealed. Only then will I feel that
the [legal] system has appropriately fulfilled its duties," Brashi told
The case against Katsav captivated Israeli public attention for more than five years.