Petitioners demand new hearing in Katsav case

Petitioners say where a Supreme Court ruling contradicts a previous ruling a new hearing must be conducted.

Katsav 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Katsav 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Less than a week after a divided High Court endorsed the plea bargain in the sexual crimes case against former president Moshe Katsav, the Movement for Quality Government, The Women's Lobby and the Kolech women's organization filed a petition demanding that an additional hearing be conducted by a panel of 11 judges. The petition, which was filed through six lawyers, claimed that the principal factor at the center of the dispute between the judges, concerned the "reasonableness of the plea bargain," and "particularly the new question which arose - what definition should be given to the term 'core criminal acts' which cannot be waived as part of the plea bargain." The petitioners said that according to law, where a Supreme Court ruling contradicts a previous ruling by the court or where it introduces new ideas that could determine future court rulings, a new hearing must be conducted. The petitioners also claimed that the court's decision raised crucial difficulties since according to the ruling, a claimant can exclude in a plea bargain severe criminal acts if it is believed that because of insufficient evidence there is no reasonable chance of conviction. According to the first charge regarding Katsav's relations with "Tourism Ministry Aleph" 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. He was also charged with sexual harassment and harassing a witness in the part of the indictment that relates to Katsav's behavior towards "Lamed," who worked for him in the President's Residence.