Rough Day for Former Israeli Pols
One on trial, two others start jail terms
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is not the only pol in trouble in Israel—in fact, it’s a red-letter day for government crime there. Moshe Katsav, who was the first Likud member to be elected president and served from 2000 to 2007, is on trial for rape and sexual harassment; the first witness testified against him this morning. Outside the court, demonstrators rallied in support of the three women who filed the charges, letting them know “they are not alone.” The trial will be closed to the public, but according to Katsav’s lawyer, the court “might allow information about the proceedings to be published from time to time.”
Israeli readers may be holding their breath for these leaks, if only as a distraction from crimes that are beginning to seem dishearteningly run-of-the-mill, by the likes of Abraham Hirchson, Olmert’s finance minister, who begins a five year term for embezzlement today, and Shlomo Benizri, a former Shas minister, who starts his four year sentence for graft. Hirschon will be held in a prison/drug rehabilitation facility, while Benizri will serve in a religious prison. Their fellow inmates can look forward to likely educational sessions from each of them.