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Lawyers Want Former Israeli President To Appeal Rape Conviction

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, as he left the justice court in Tel Aviv earlier today. i i

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, as he left the justice court in Tel Aviv earlier today. Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, as he left the justice court in Tel Aviv earlier today.

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav, as he left the justice court in Tel Aviv earlier today.

Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

"Former President Moshe Katsav's attorneys are planning to appeal the Tel Aviv District Court's decision to convict him of rape, sexual assault and other sexual abuses," Haaretz.com reports.

As the Associated Press writes:

"Katsav was convicted Thursday of raping an employee when he was a Cabinet minister, the most serious criminal charges ever brought against a high-ranking official and a case that stunned the nation.

"Katsav, 65, faces a minimum of four years in prison on two counts of raping one of his employees in 1998 when he was Israel's tourism minister. The Tel Aviv District Court also convicted him on lesser counts of indecent acts and sexual harassment involving two other women who worked for him after he became president in 2000."

Katsav was president from 2000 to 2007. According to the AP, he claims to be "a victim of a political witchhunt, suggesting he was targeted because he comes from Israel's Sephardic community. Sephardic Jews, of Middle Eastern origin, were for decades an underclass in Israeli society. Katsav was born in Iran and immigrated to Israel as a child."

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