Katsav Appeal Set for January 8

Israel's Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of former President Moshe Katsav in January. His sentence begins December 7.

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Gabe Kahn.,

Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
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The Registrar of Israel's Supreme Court on Monday confirmed attorneys for former President Moshe Katsav filed a request for a preliminary hearing to discuss the appeal of his conviction for rape and obstruction of justice.

The approval, the registrar said, was approved after the state agreed to an extension for submitting the request for the new hearing, which will be held on January 8.

Katsav's lawyer's did not request his incarceration be delayed pending the results of the hearing. Katsav's sentence of nine years imprisonment and two years probation will begin on December 7.

Katsav is expected to serve his sentence in Ma'asiyahu prison where he will – initially – share his cell with a former minister, Shlomo Benizri.

In an interview with the Hebrew-language Maariv, Katsav said, "I'm blown away. I'm hurt. I'm exhausted. I spilled my blood... but I'll fight for my innocence to the last drop of blood. As long as I have strength – mostly mental strength.

"I can barely hold on, but I do not want to sound weak. Who wants to be pitiful?" Katsav asked.

President Shimon Peres on Saturday said it was too soon to discuss clemency for Katsav, but hinted no pardon would be forthcoming.

"I take a hard line on people who hurt women, especially sexually," Peres said.