Katsav may have had sexual relationship with staff

Katsav was convicted in December of two counts of rape, two counts of sexual harassment, an indecent act using force, and obstruction of justice.

Updated: Aug 07, 2011, 21:16 PM IST

Jerusalem: Disgraced former Israeli president
Moshe Katsav may have had sexual relations with one of his
former office staff, his lawyer said on Sunday, indicating that
his client may have lied about the incident.

Katsav was convicted in December of two counts of rape,
two counts of sexual harassment, an indecent act using force,
and obstruction of justice.

He has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
In a ruling in May, the Supreme Court stayed Katsav`s
punishment until his appeal process is complete.

Katsav served as the eighth President of Israel. The end
of his presidency was marked by this controversy, stemming
from allegations of rape and sexual harassment. Katsav
resigned the presidency on July 1, 2007.

The former President`s lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, told a
bench of judges today that the court has several options to
consider regarding the two counts of rape and series of sexual
assault charges against his client.

"The options facing the court are thus - determine that
the evidence proves beyond all reasonable doubt that all of
the elements of the crime of rape took place - in other words,
that there was full sexual intercourse, without consent and
with the use of force," Feldman told the court.

"There are several different possibilities regarding
this: there is the possibility that nothing happened, that
there was no sexual intercourse, no obscene acts, nothing.

The second possibility is that there was an intimate
relationship that led to sexual relations; and the third
possibility is that there was an intimate relationship that
led to full sexual intercourse," he added.

The attorney then pointed to a fourth possibility -
that there had been an intimate relationship and sexual
intercourse, but that there had not been "full consent", but
that it came about as a result of Katsav`s "relationship of
authority".

The former President`s appeal will be heard three days
this week and there may be additional hearings next week.
Katsav appeared before judges Edna Arbel, Myriam Nahor
and Selim Jubran to appeal his December conviction.

The former Israeli leader has denied the charges
against him, saying he was the target of a media plot and a
political witch hunt.

PTI