Katsav accused of carefully targeting women

State: Katsav regarded the women on his staff as a ‘reservoir’ of sex objects.

katzav pointing 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
katzav pointing 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The state has accused former president Moshe Katsav of carefully targeting women he sought to seduce during his years in high office, adjusting his approach to fit each one’s character, according to the introduction to a written summary of its case before the Tel Aviv District Court.
The introductions to the summaries of the prosecution and defense were released on Tuesday. All of the trial’s sessions were held behind closed doors, and the minutes of only one were released to the public.
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The trial began with the reading of the indictment on May 14, 2009.
“From the testimony we have heard, it clearly emerges that the defendant regarded the women who were subordinate to him as a reservoir from which he chose some as sexual objects,” wrote the prosecutors, Ronit Amiel and Nissim Marom. “From the moment he saw that they suited his sexual purposes, he took advantage of his senior position and status in the offices in which he served, as well as the obligations of these women to be near him and to obey him in the context of fulfilling their duties.”
The state described how Katsav allegedly tried to snare his prey.
“The defendant tried to seek and find the specific strategy whereby he could advance his sexual goals with each of the women who worked for him,” it charged. “Usually, this included giving demonstrative and flattering attention aimed at capturing the heart of whoever served as the target for satisfying his sexual wants.
“He also gave backing to his victims, compared with the other employees in the office, which increased their relative status... in the office he controlled, while he, all the time, was scheming to have his way with them.”
Katsav’s lawyers – Avigdor Feldman, Zion Amir and Avi Lavie – compared Marom to a chief inquisitor judging the case according to an axiom that he cannot prove and which, in the end, turns out to be false.
The axiom in this case, they said, was that the key prosecution witness – whom the president is accused of having raped twice – did not fit the description of a woman who spreads lies and makes up stories, and that therefore the witness’s version of the events must be true, even if this was contradicted by the facts and Marom failed to resolve the contradictions.
To prove their point, the lawyers quoted from a statement made by Marom to the court during the trial, in which he said, “In a situation where there are problems with the evidence, the court should ask itself whether there is any possibility that the witness made up the story. The answer is no.
That means there must be some other reasonable possibility to explain the evidence.”
The lawyers referred briefly to one case in which, according to the records of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the amount of time available to the tourism minister – the position Katsav held at the time, in 1998 – would have been insufficient for him to perpetrate one of the rapes of which he was accused.
The lawyers charged that the prosecution had no explanation for this or other problems arising from the facts, and that according to its approach, one would have to wait for the messiah to come to find the answer.
Katsav’s lawyers also blasted the media and others, including Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich, for determining their client’s guilt before the trial even started.
“The trampling of the defendant, which deviates from all social, public and legal standards, knows no bounds,” they wrote. “Until this very day, this wicked mill continues to rake his flesh with iron combs.”
They added that the prosecution itself had tried to demonize Katsav during the trial.