Tuesday, May. 17, 2011

Moshe Katsav and the Ministry Staffer

After six years as president of Israel, Moshe Katsav complained to Israel's attorney general that a former staffer from his time as the Minister of Tourism was attempting to blackmail him. During the subsequent investigation, a former Tourism Ministry employee identified only as "A" accused Katsav of rape. The allegation rocked the country, with many wondering whether the former president would have a fair trial. Though Katsav maintained his innocence, he also faced serious jail time if convicted. So in 2007, Katsav reached a plea bargain with prosecutors: he would plead guilty to sexual harassment and indecent acts, but they would drop the rape charge and the former president would receive a suspended sentence. But in April 2008, Katsav called off the deal, thinking the prosecutors didn't have enough evidence. His subsequent trail ended in December 2010 with a unanimous conviction, and in March 2011, Katsav was sentenced to 7 years behind bars.