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Judges could reduce Moshe Katzav's sentence

    The extensive media coverage of the rape trial of former president Moshe Katzav may result in his sentence being reduced, according to a full transcript of the verdict.

    The protocols of the trial, which were published on Sunday with the names of Katzav's victims deleted, reveal that the sitting judges criticised the media and said that "lines were crossed" in the way the case was reported.

    It has also emerged that four other women testified at the trial, in addition to the three who worked for him at the Tourism Ministry and upon whose testimony he was indicted for rape, obscene acts and sexual harassment.

    Their allegations, however, were no longer admissible under the statute of limitations. They were brought to court by the State Prosecution to establish Katzav's pattern of predatory behaviour.

    One woman, identified only as AC, who worked in Katzav's office when he was transport minister 20 years ago, told the court how Katzav had pursued her continuously, and in one case groped her and in another exposed himself.

    He tried to convince her that he was in love with her and, when she became pregnant by her husband, became very angry and isolated her in the office. Later, after her baby's birth, he began pursuing her again.

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