Timeline: Rape case of a former president

History of Katsav saga that has fascinated Israeli public for more than five years.

November 10, 2011 15:35
3 minute read.
Moshe Katsav.

Moshe Katsav 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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July 31, 2000 – Moshe Katsav elected president, in a surprise victory over favorite Shimon Peres. Becomes only the second non-Ashkenazi president, and the first born in a Muslim country.

July 2006 – Katsav issues complaint to attorney- general Menahem Mazuz, claiming a former employee is blackmailing him. Probe shifts to Katsav himself when complainant tells investigators he sexually assaulted her.

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August 22, 2006 – Police raid Katsav’s house in Kiryat Malachi. The next day, police question him for 23 hours under caution.

September 7, 2006 – Police say they have basis for an indictment, after probing complaints by four women.

September 13, 2006 – Katsav takes one-day leave of absence to avoid presiding over Dorit Beinisch’s appointment as president of the Supreme Court. The ceremony, usually held at Beit Hanassi, is held at the Knesset instead. Katsav interviewed by police for nine hours. By September 27, the number of female complainants climbs to eight.

October 15, 2006 – Police recommend rape and sexual harassment charges.

October 29, 2006 – Mazuz recommends Katsav step down from office.

January 23, 2007 – Mazuz says he will consider pursuing charges of rape, sexual harassment, obstruction of justice, harassment of a witness, breach of trust and fraud.

January 24, 2007 – Katsav holds press conference at Beit Hanassi, accusing journalists of trying him before the evidence is heard. Accuses Channel 2 news anchor Gadi Sukenik of a witch hunt against him.

March 7, 2007 – Knesset House Committee fails to impeach Katsav.

June 13, 2007 – Kadima minister Peres elected over Likud MK Reuven Rivlin to succeed him.

June 28, 2007 – Katsav’s attorneys reach plea bargain with Mazuz, under which he would plead guilty to sexual harassment and indecent acts in exchange for a suspended sentence and financial compensation for two victims. Submits letter of resignation the next day.

October 30, 2007 – State prosecution tells High Court of Justice there are contradictions in the testimony of two complainants.

April 2008 – Katsav calls off plea bargain after his legal team convinces him prosecutors do not have enough evidence to convict him.

March 2009 – Katsav indicted by Tel Aviv District Court for rape and sexual assault against three women. Also charged with obstructing justice and witness tampering for his behavior after the scandal broke.

December 30, 2010 – Katsav convicted of raping former Tourism Ministry worker “Aleph,” sexually assaulting “Heh,” who worked at Beit Hanassi, and sexually harassing “Lamed Yud,” an 18-year-old national service volunteer at Beit Hanassi.

January 2, 2011 – Tapes revealing “Aleph” asked Katsav for $200,000, for “psychological help” released.

January 16 – Transcripts of rape trial say Katsav’s testimony “found to be false time after time.”

January 17 – Tel Aviv court releases full version of verdict in Katsav trial.

February 22 – Sentence hearing for Katsav rape trial begins in Tel Aviv.

March 21 – Aleph from Beit Hanassi says she will file civil suit against Katsav.

March 22 - Katsav sentenced to seven years in Tel Aviv court, announces he’ll appeal to the Supreme Court.

May 19 - Supreme Court Justice Yoram Danziger agrees to a request by Katsav’s defense lawyers to postpone his punishment until after his appeal process.

August 7 - Supreme Court opens deliberations on Katsav over his appeal of his seven-year sentence.

August 10 - Deliberations resume; Katsav's attorney alleges the former president's actions did not constitute anything more than "an ordinary hug."

August 11 - Court adjourns deliberations on the appeal.

November 10 - Supreme Court is set to announce verdict in Moshe Katsav's final appeal, almost a year after former head of state was convicted of two counts of rape, two counts of sexual harassment, an indecent act using force and obstruction of justice.

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