Former Israeli president Moshe Katzav has had his rape conviction upheld by the Supreme Court – and will be the first president in the country’s history to serve time in jail.
The Supreme Court judges Edna Arble, Miriam Naor and Salim Joubran upheld the seven-year prison sentence, which Katzav will serve from December 7.
The former president was originally convicted at Tel Aviv District Court in March, of two counts of rape, indecent acts, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice. The victims were women who had worked with him in the Tourism Ministry, and the President's Office.
Katzav was ordered to pay £16,000 in compensation to his first victim and £4,000 to the second complainant. Katzav claimed he was “"publicly tried in and by the media” and that the media was “out to get him”.
The three Supreme Court judges said that the defence "failed to present any evidence to support the claims that the sexual relations were consensual.”
Prosecutor Nisim Marom said the Supreme Court's decision was "a clear message for victims – don't be afraid to press charges."
Attorney Daniel Srur, who represents A of the Tourism Ministry, said his client was "relieved that justice has triumphed and the truth came out. She welcomes the ruling and hopes it encourages women who were sexually abused to complain."
The court also did not accept the line of defence that there was a romance between A and Katzav.