22 Mar 2011

Former Israeli president jailed for rape

10:04 pm on 22 March 2011

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav was sentenced on Tuesday to seven years in jail for rape.

Katsav, 65, had denied charges that he twice raped an aide when he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s, and molested or sexually harassed two other women who worked for him during his 2000-2007 term as president.

However, a three-judge panel said on convicting him in December last year that his testimony had been "riddled with lies."

"When a woman says no, she means no," the panel said in its ruling.

Katsav was also convicted of obstructing justice, for trying to confer with one complainant about her testimony to police.

Rape carries a minimum prison term of four years and a maximum of 16 years in Israel.

Though the scandal had forced Katsav's early retirement in disgrace, it had little impact on Israeli government functions, as the presidency is largely ceremonial.