Daily Israel Report

Former President Moshe Katzav to Request Retrial

Former president's lawyers say evidence supporting an original District Court's rape verdict can be challenged.
By Adam Ross
First Publish: 10/14/2013, 1:51 PM

Moshe Katzav
Moshe Katzav
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Former Israeli President Moshe Katzav is seeking a retrial to overturn his conviction for rape and sexual assault.

Attorney Yehoshua Resnick, a former deputy state prosecutor has called Katzav's jail sentence a "miscarriage of justice", according to Channel 2 News, and has said he will submit a request to the Supreme Court for a retrial early next week.

Katzav was convicted in 2011 for the rape and sexual assault of female employees both during his tenure as Minister of Tourism and as Israel's president. He has currently served two years of a seven year sentence. Katzav has always maintained his innocence in the case.

Katav's lawyers argue that a verdict against him at the Tel Aviv District Court was based on a sole testimony of a female known as complainant A, which they say can be challenged. Lawyers argue that phone records Katzav made from his car at the time the rape is said to have taken place were not seen by the District Court.

So far all attempts by the former president to petition the justice establishment have been refused. 

The likelihood of a retrial at this time is also slim, because Katzav is not claiming any new proof that hasn't previously been seen by at least one of the courts who have dealt with the case in the past. The Tel Aviv District Court ruled on the initial case in 2009, with the Supreme Court upholding the guilty verdict in an appeal ruling in 2011. 

Last month, the former president was granted his first full 24 hour release in line with prison guidelines after completing a quarter of his sentence at the Maasiyahu prison in Ramle.

On his release, he was met by friends and family at his Kiryat Malahi home, who welcomed him with sweets and flowers.