Daily Israel Report

Supreme Court Rejects Moshe Katzav Retrial Request

Retrial rejected for not citing enough evidence for 'reasonable doubt,' court rules.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 5/19/2014, 7:58 PM

Moshe Katzav
Moshe Katzav
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Supreme Court formally rejected former Israeli President Moshe Katzav's request for a retrial on Monday, shutting down another bid to overturn his conviction for rape and sexual assault.  

Katzav's legal team filed the appeal in October, with Attorney Yehoshua Resnick, a former deputy state prosecutor calling the sentencing a "miscarriage of justice."

Judge Neal Handel officially shot down the accusation in a ruling Monday morning.  

"An examination of the applicant's arguments shows that there is no fear of a miscarriage of justice," Handel declared, noting that the retrial has been rejected due to lack of new evidence.

"The complainant's testimony to the rape is credible, and it has been determined that the defendant's version of events is unreliable," he said. "The defendant did not indicate that there is a basis for reasonable doubt for the complainant's version of events." 

Katzav's team had argued in the retrial application that there are gaping inaccuracies regarding when the rape took place, an argument Handel also rejected. 

"The fact that there are no 'hard and fast' rules in relation to the when the rape was executed should not give rise, per se, to reasonable doubt, and it certainly does not amount to a 'miscarriage of justice' that justifies a retrial," he said. 

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 and a half years of a seven year sentence; Katzav has always maintained his innocence in the case.