Lawyers: Katsav info illegally obtained

Attorneys say president's immunity violated, evidence could be invalidated.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
President Moshe Katsav's attorneys plan to claim that a portion of the evidence in the case against the president for alleged sexual crimes was obtained illegally, it was reported on Thursday. According to the attorneys, who are preparing for the upcoming May 2 hearing on Katsav's case, the president was never asked whether he was willing to forfeit his immunity, and it was therefore illegal to conduct searches in his office and confiscate documents and computers. Katsav's lawyers say that the president was unaware of his full rights, and the series of warrants that enabled police to search the premises were authorized before Katsav was asked about his willingness to forfeit his immunity. One of Katsav's attorneys, Avigdor Feldman, told Army Radio in an interview on Thursday morning that evidence that was illegally gathered could be invalidated in court. "The right is not absolute, but in our estimation, a serious breach of immunity is associated with those cases in which the court could declare the evidence invalid," he said. In addition, the lawyers have claimed that even after materials from the president's office were confiscated, he was not asked about his immunity. "Only once did they check with him whether they could view the materials indirectly, and then the president authorized this, but not with a declared forfeiture of his immunity," they said. Katsav, who has been accused of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to rape, was temporarily suspended earlier this year in a Knesset House Committee vote.