Ex-Israeli Prez to Face Rape Charge

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2009 8:14 PM CDT
Israeli President Moshe Katsav, center, and his wife Gila, right, arrive for a wedding in Cesarea Thursday, June 28, 2007.   (AP Photo/Ido Erez)
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(Newser) – Israel's top lawman will charge ex-President Moshe Katsav with raping and sexually harassing his former employees, the BBC reports. In the latest development of a nearly 3-year legal drama, Israeli officials said that "the complainants' testimony was reliable and that there is sufficient evidence for an indictment." Katsav had agreed to plead guilty to lesser charges in 2007, but changed his mind last year.

Katsav, who was president from 2000 to 2007 as a member of the center-right Likud Party, resigned from the mostly ceremonial role over the charges. He accused Israeli journalists of pushing the story for political reasons.