Israel set for Katzav rape case sentence

By Jennifer Lipman, March 21, 2011

An Israeli court is expected to announce a sentence tomorrow for former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katzav.

Mr Katzav, who was found guilty after a four year case on two counts of rape and other charges of sexual harassment, could face a 16-year prison sentence. However it is thought in that case that he will attempt an appeal to Israel's Supreme Court.

The Iranian-born politician was Israel’s eighth president but resigned in 2007 after an indictment was made against him for sexual harassment.

He claimed he was the victim of a witch-hunt by disgruntled former employees but was formally indicted in March 2009.

It emerged today that one of the central witnesses against him is preparing to sue for several million shekels over claims of emotional and monetary damages.

The majority of Israelis are said to be in favour of the prosecution of Mr Katzav, although groups including some strictly Orthodox rabbis have publicly opposed it.

Last updated: 12:55pm, March 21 2011