Katsav: Yacimovich acting as judge

President declares innocence, claims he is victim of public lynching.

President Moshe Katsav has declared himself to be entirely innocent, according to an interview with Israel Radio that will be aired on Saturday. In this first public interview since Katsav was first accused of sexually harassing a young woman in his office last month, the president said that it was unthinkable that the legislative branch would decide the verdict before the judgment. He also leveled sharp criticism at MK Shelly Yacimovich, who, in Katsav's words, was making herself both investigator and judge at the same time. "What she is doing is simply trying to fill the positions of Aharon Barak, Meni Mazuz, and Moshe Karadi," said Katsav. "She already decided - the high priestess, the chief justice, the inspector-general of the police, the state judicial advisor. "Ms. Yacimovich has decided it is enough to hear the story from one side. It's impossible to convict a man before he has been judged - certainly not before an investigation. If she has no faith in the legal authorities, she should express her criticism of the legal authorities - but if she has faith in them, she'd do better to wait until those legal authorities, the police and the prosecution are at least finished with the investigation," he said. Yacimovich appeared on television on Thursday to declare that she had met with Katsav's former employee, known as "A," and felt "a deep sense of sympathy" for the girl, whom she repeatedly described as "helpless." The two met for several hours, said Yacimovich, emphasizing that "A" told her that the president had not just engaged in sexual harassment, but had raped her. Katsav declared in the Israel Radio interview that he was the victim of an unjust public lynching and expressed indignation over several MKs' demands that he give up the presidency. He also expressed astonishment that the investigation into the issue only began two days ago, and emphasized that still no complaint had been lodged against him. Sheera Claire Frenkel and Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.