Thousands protest Katsav plea deal

Israeli supreme court agrees to consider legal challenge after rape case dropped.

    The Israeli president had to resign two weeks before the end ofhis term in office [AFP]
    His resignation from the presidency took effect on Sunday clearing the way for his immediate indictment.

    Meni Mazuz, Israeli's attorney general, had originally plan to press rape and sex assault charges that could have sent Katsav to jail for 20 years.

    Four women have accused the former president of sex offences.
     
    "There's no such thing as rape lite,'' read one of the posters hoisted by the crowd, which included leading female politicians.

    Justice demanded

    Yael Dayan, a former politician and prominent Israeli women's rights advocate, said: "We are asking to hear the evidence. We don't demand mercy, we demand justice.
     
    "We are calling on the courts to have the courage not to approve the deal.''

    "We are asking to hear the evidence. We don't demand mercy, we demand justice"


    Yael Dayan,
    former politician

    Katsav resigned on Friday as part of the deal, just two weeks before his seven-year term was to expire.

    He is set to receive a suspended prison sentence and be required to pay damages to two of his four accusers, all former female employees, under the plea deal.

    The four women, who worked with Katsav either in the president's office or when he was tourism minister in the late 1990s, painted a picture of a predatory boss who repeatedly used his authority over female employees to force sexual favours.

    Many in the crowd wanted Mazuz to resign for failing to put the president on trial.

    The attorney general has told Israeli TV that Katsav had behaved like a serial sex offender, but most of the allegations against him referred to events that could not be brought to court under Israel's statute of limitations.

    He also said conflicting testimony from witnesses would make it hard to ensure a guilty verdict on rape charges.
     
    Katsav, who painted himself as the victim of a witch hunt, stepped aside in January to fight the charges but refused to resign.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    Venezuela in default: What next?

    As the oil-rich country fails to pay its debt, we examine what happens next and what it means for its people.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.