Mazuz defends plea bargain in response to court

The plea bargain reached in the case against former president Moshe Katsav stands firm, due to a lack of sufficient evidence against him, the State Prosecutor's Office announced on Thursday evening. In his response to a High Court petition by Katsav accuser Aleph, Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz defended the plea bargain, saying that contrary to claims that the decision was baseless, "there was an evolutionary process [that] gradually ate away, during the months of dealing with the case, at the guise of evidence needed to base a reasonable foundation [for charging Katsav]." However, Mazuz said, aside from the difficulty of proving Katsav guilty of the rape charges leveled against him, there were other advantages to the plea bargain. "These advantages included [Katsav's] immediate resignation - the symbolic significance of which is great - from the office of president," he said, also noting Katsav's "immediate admission and conviction of serious sexual crimes" and "the acceptance of legal and public responsibility for carrying out these actions."