Katsav indicted in Jerusalem court

Former president may go to jail, lose 1.1m. a yr; gap between plea bargain, facts causes confusion.

Katsav 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Katsav 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The state prosecution on Thursday filed an indictment against former president Moshe Katsav in Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. Katsav did not appear in court and the delivery was a purely technical matter. The president of the court, Amnon Cohen, will have to decide whether the trial will be heard by one judge or three. Cohen has disqualified himself from presiding over the case because he is a personal friend of Katsav's. According to the first charge regarding Katsav's relations with "Tourism Ministry Aleph" in the two-page indictment, the state accused the former president of "exploiting his authority and power to perpetrate the acts described below, without her consent and by using force." The actions include:
  • Complimenting her on her work, her looks and her clothes as soon as she started working for him.
  • On entering his room, Katsav often asked her to stand beside him, caressed her and hugged her around the waist. On several occasions he asked her to stand beside him near his library so that it would appear as though he was looking for a book. She occasionally consented out of fear of his authority over her.
  • On the drive to the Knesset, he would sit in the front seat and caress her leg while she sat in the back.
  • Katsav asked her to meet him outside the office for work. When they met, he tried to get close to her. On the basis of these acts, the state charged Katsav with committing an indecent act without the woman's freely given consent by using pressure. The maximum penalty for the crime is seven years in jail. The second charge relates to Katsav's behavior towards "Lamed," who worked for him in the President's Residence. According to the factual description:
  • Lamed was involved in organizing Katsav's 60th birthday party and, as a result, met with him frequently.
  • On December 25, 2005, the day of the party, she entered his office to wish him a happy birthday. He hugged her at length and kissed her on the neck.
  • On September 28, 2006, Katsav called Lamed into his office and asked whether police had called her in for questioning. He asked her if she remembered what had happened on December 25, 2005, and explained that he had only kissed her because of her good work. For these actions, Katsav was charged with sexual harassment and harassing a witness.