Middle East

Israel ex-President Katsav has rape sentence upheld

Israeli former President Moshe Katsav leaves the Supreme Court, 10 November 2011
Image caption Moshe Katsav had been allowed to stay out of jail pending his appeal

Israel's Supreme Court has upheld a seven-year rape sentence against former President Moshe Katsav.

Katsav, 65, was convicted in December of raping a former employee when he was a minister in the 1990s, and for sexually harassing two other women during his 2000-2007 presidential term.

He resigned from the largely ceremonial post of president in 2007.

He has denied the charges, saying he is the victim of a plot, but the Supreme Court unanimously rejected his appeal.

Katsav is due to begin serving his sentence on 7 December.

He is the first former Israeli head of state to be jailed.

Israeli women's groups had welcomed the initial conviction, arguing that allegations of sexual harassment were too often ignored.

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