Israel to charge former president Katsav with rape

JERUSALEM, (Reuters) – Israel’s attorney-general  will charge former president Moshe Katsav with rape and other sex offences against women employees while he was president and  tourism minister, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz will also charge Katsav with  obstructing justice, the statement said. Katsav resigned in June 2007 after pleading guilty to  indecent acts against a woman employee. Another employee accused  him of rape.

In April 2008, Katsav rejected a plea bargain under which he  would avoid rape charges and a possible jail term in exchange for admitting lesser sex offences.

A Katsav aide told Israel Radio the former president was  happy with the decision to charge him because he would have the  chance to prove his innocence in court.

Shimon Peres succeeded Katsav in the largely ceremonial post  in July 2007.

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