Prosecution demands Katsav be treated like any other felon

Court to decide if ex-president will begin prison term before appeals process completed.

katsav enters court 311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
katsav enters court 311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The Supreme Court will decide in the next few days whether former president Moshe Katsav’s seven-year prison term for two counts of rape, and other felonies, will be postponed until the appeals process is completed.
Katsav’s defense team on Wednesday used every possible angle to convince Justice Yoram Danizger that their client should not appear to be a “prisoner” at the appeals hearings, but rather a “citizen.”
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“I personally do not like symbols and ceremonies, but would hate to think that the president of the state would enter prison... and undergo the entire humiliation ceremony, only to be acquitted later on.
Such a possibility exists,” defense attorney Avigdor Feldman argued. “His dignity is our dignity.”
Feldman also stressed that the former president poses no danger to the public, and will not attempt to escape the punishment.
Additionally, he noted that neither the police nor prosecution demanded that Katsav’s freedoms be compromised in any way during the investigation and trial.
Katsav’s lawyers filed an appeal to the Supreme Court last week over the Tel Aviv District Court’s conviction of Katsav.
The State Attorney’s Office, however, maintained that the former president should be treated like any other felon.
“Legally, this is a regular case.
The defendant was charged with a felony,” said Aryeh Peter, the State Attorney Office’s representative at the hearing.
“Katsav should start serving his sentence before the appeal begins,” Peter added. “It is in the public interest for Katsav to go to jail right away.”
The former president’s prison sentence was already delayed once. He was expected to enter prison on Sunday, but Danizger ruled that Katsav can remain free until a final decision is made.
Ron Friedman contributed to this report.