'Katsav should serve as a lesson to all politicians'

Livni: Katsav crossed a line and became a symbol for all that angers us about him; Lawyer in case says "this is no victory."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 7, 2011 11:27
2 minute read.
Tzippi Livni

Tzippi Livni 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Opposition 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."

"This 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 said.

Livni said that Katsav should serve as a signal to all politicians in Israel.

"On 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 said.

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 was conducted.
   
"I've 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 Army Radio.

The case against Katsav captivated Israeli public attention for more than five years.


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