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Attorney: New evidence exonerates Katsav (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Naama Cohen Friedman Published: 02.23.12, 17:10)Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4194104,00.html YNet News - Yediot Achronot YNet News - Yediot Achronot Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Jailed ex-president´s new attorney says cell phone records, footage from event organized by Iranian Israelis show Kastav was falsely convicted of raping subordinate, constitute ´cast-iron alibi´

Attorney Yoram Sheftel, former President Moshe Katsav´s new attorney, announced he had submitted to the Supreme Court new findings which he says corroborate his client´s claims and support his version of the rape of a Tourism Ministry female employee in his Tel Aviv office in April 1998.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Sheftel said the new evidence, obtained by Katsav´s family, consists of a video tape proving Katsav was surrounded by security guards on the day in question and a photo taken during an event which shows his mother was in attendance.

In November Israel´s Supreme Court ruled that Katsav raped a former aide and molested two other women who worked for him, upholding his conviction in a lower court and a seven-year jail term.

"He misused his high position and defiled the bodies and dignity of (his accusers)," the three-justice panel said in a unanimous ruling against Katsav´s appeal and ordered him to report to jail to begin serving his sentence on December 7.

Katsav was president from 2000 to 2007. He was convicted of twice raping an aide when he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s and sexually assaulting two other women who worked for him while he was president.

According to the prosecution, Katsav raped the aide, known only as ´A´, at his Tel Aviv office following an event organized by Iranian-Israelis at the Ramat Gan National Park. He claims to have been surrounded by bodyguards and said he drove his mother to her home in Kiryat Malachi immediately after the event. The court said his version of events had been "fundamentally unreliable," but Sheftel said the new findings corroborate the former president´s claims, adding that they constitute a "cast-iron alibi."

Katsav´s son, Ariel, said the video was obtained from the archives of the Central Organization of Iranian Immigrants. "I´m working night and day to obtain evidence that will reveal the truth. This video proves that my grandmother was at the event and that my father was not lying," he said.

Sheftel said cell phone records show Katsav spoke with complainant ´A´ after the event. According to the attorney, this proves they were not in the vehicle together. Reuters contributed to the report (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 02/23/12)


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