Israel Prez’s Plea Deal Not a Done Deal
Posted Jul 2, 2007 2:33 PM CST
By Martha Neil
A controversial agreement by the president of Israel to plead guilty to sexual harassment and other charges and resign from office to avoid a potential rape prosecution apparently isn't a done deal.
Amidst widespread criticism of the plea agreement and three petitions against it, the Israel Supreme Court is requiring the prosecution to explain why it is not following through with a plan, announced in January, to prosecute now-former President Moshe Katsav on rape charges that could result in a 20-year prison term upon conviction, reports the Associated Press. Katsav resigned Sunday, two weeks before his term in office would have expired, and was to receive a suspended sentence under the plea deal.
Attorney General Meni Mazuz originally announced he planned to pursue a rape case after four former employees claimed Katsav, as AP puts it, "repeatedly groped them, kissed them, exposed himself to them and -- in two cases -- raped them while he served as president and earlier, when he was tourism minister."