Moshe Katsav walking into court 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))
Lawyers for former president Moshe Katsav filed a request to the Supreme Court
on Thursday, asking to present two pieces of further evidence in an additional
The former president is serving a seven-year prison sentence
after being convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court in 2010 of two counts of
rape, two counts of sexual harassment, an indecent act using force and
obstruction of justice.
According to Katsav’s defense attorney, Yoram
Sheftel, two pieces of additional evidence show that Katsav was telling the
truth regarding his whereabouts before, during and after the time that “Alef”
from the Tourism Ministry claims the former president first raped her in Tel
Aviv’s Textile House in April 1998.
The first rape charge for which the
former president was convicted is alleged to have occurred immediately after an
event for Persian Jews in the Ramat Gan National Park on April 19, 1998. Alef
testified that Katsav went with her from that event to his office in the Textile
House in Tel Aviv and raped her there.
In his testimony before the Tel
Aviv District Court, Katsav said that he was surrounded by Shin Bet security
guards at the event, and that at the time of the alleged rape, he had been in a
car without Alef, driving his mother home from the event to Kiryat
The district court, however, ruled that Katsav had lied both
about the security guards and his mother’s presence at the event.
said the additional evidence he wants the Supreme Court to see includes a video
recording that shows Katsav with a personal security guard from the Shin Bet
during the event in Ramat Gan. The second piece of evidence is a photograph
taken during that event that Sheftel says proves that Katsav’s mother was
present, as the former president testified in his trial.
Sheftel told The
Jerusalem Post on Thursday that after the event, Katsav and his mother got into
his car, and they drove off without Alef, since cellphone tracking from that day
shows that there had been phone calls at that time between Katsav and
“The key is in the cellphone tracking,” Sheftel said, adding that
if Alef had been in the car, she and Katsav would not have needed to speak on
Katsav testified that he left in his car with his mother at 5
p.m. that night, whereas according to the court ruling Alef testified that she
“maintained eye contact with [Katsav], left the event with him and she didn’t
think he left the event and then returned to it later.”
according to this scenario, it is highly improbable that [Katsav] left in his
car with his mother, who was over 70, and with Alef, then stopped so he could
carry out a rape in Textile House, and afterward returned with the victim to his
car, where his mother was waiting, and then the whole group went somewhere else
to bring Alef to her car – as she didn’t know where she parked – so she could
drive back to her home in Jerusalem,” the request to the court
Sheftel said the new evidence shows that Katsav’s testimony was
credible, and should be taken in conjunction with evidence from the Shin Bet,
who testified regarding the security provided to the former president.
November, after the Supreme Court rejected Katsav’s appeal against his
conviction and sentence, his defense team asked to be allowed extra time to file
a request for a further appeal hearing, saying that after studying the ruling,
they believed there were grounds for further discussion.
request to file the two pieces of evidence, Sheftel said that another hearing
“The video tape shows unequivocally – contrary to the
judgements – that [Katsav] was with a personal security guard during the event,
exactly as he said in his testimony,” the request to the Supreme Court
“Indeed, the honorable court has given its ruling in the appeal,
but a request for a further hearing is pending. Therefore, the appeal
ruling is not peremptory.”