Former Israeli President to be charged for rape

March 9th, 2009 - 1:55 pm ICT by ANI  

Jerusalem, Mar 9 (ANI): Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav will be charged with several serious sexual offenses, including rape, Attorney General Menachem Mazuz has announced.

Mazuz is ready to indict Moshe Katsav on charges stemming from sexual offenses, including rape, allegedly committed while he was President and Tourism Minister.

The Justice Ministry has been plagued by complications in the case since it first broke in July 2006, including a failed plea bargain attempt and a draft indictment that was retracted, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Mazuz decided on Sunday, after consultation with State Attorney Moshe Lador, to submit the new indictment.

The current draft charge sheet also includes allegations against Katsav concerning sexual offenses he allegedly committed against other female subordinates at the Tourism Ministry, as well as offenses committed while he was president (2000 to 2007).

The decision was made after Mazuz and Lador came to the conclusion that the plaintiffs testimony must be considered and that there is sufficient evidence in the case to justify filing an indictment, a statement from the State Attorneys Office said.

The former presidents media adviser, Ronen Tsur, downplayed the decision, saying it did not surprise one person in Israel.

Moshe Katsav took into account that this would be the result when he rejected the plea bargain, and hes happy for the chance to prove his innocence in a court of law, Tsur said. (ANI)

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