'Someone should apologize to Katsav'

Katsav's lawyers prepare for battle over turpitude; women's groups slam decision to uphold plea deal.

Katsav 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Katsav 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold Attorney General Menahem Mazuz's plea bargain with former president Moshe Katsav, Katsav's attorney Avigdor Feldman said that "someone should apologize to the former president." Attorney Zion Amir, another member of Katsav's defense team, said that despite the fact that the plea bargain was upheld, it was nonetheless a sad day for the former president, who could still be saddled with moral turpitude. "I said throughout that our stance was that there was no moral turpitude and there will be no moral turpitude," Amir told Army Radio. "The text of the plea bargain makes no mention of moral turpitude, which is why the attempt to insert moral turpitude could cause serious problems on the way to an agreement." Amir threatened that if the final plea deal tainted the president with moral turpitude the president's defense team would call it off. Deputy State Attorney Shai Nitzan was pleased with the decision. "Criticism was leveled by several of the judges, but there are decision-making apparatuses and there is criticism, and nobody is perfect," he said. "This is a sad day," Yifat Matzner, an attorney for one of the appellants, said after the ruling was read. "Any other citizen would have been behind lock and key," Kinneret Barashi, the attorney of "Beit Hanassi Aleph," said. "The public's faith in Supreme Court decisions has collapsed. As a citizen of this country I think a terrible injustice has been done here." The coalition of women's organizations that had appealed the bargain also expressed its displeasure with the decision. "We wish to express our deep outrage with the Supreme Court decision," they said in a statement. "Even in our starkest predictions we did not entertain the possibility that the Supreme Court would uphold the plea bargain in such a clear-cut way. It was proven today that there is no justice in Israel; the rule of law is over."