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Israel: Moshe Katsav Rape Conviction Upheld


JERUSALEM — Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the rape conviction of former President Moshe Katsav and ordered him to begin serving a seven-year prison term next month, a landmark decision that culminated a sordid five-year saga.

The rape conviction for the former head of state was hailed as a victory for women's rights and equality under the law, particularly at a sensitive time when Israel's liberal democracy has come under assault from extreme nationalists and the burgeoning ultra-religious minority.

"From this day on, let nobody dare claim that these are women who tried to conspire against the president. Rather they are brave women who must empower all harassed women who are afraid to complain," said Tzipi Livni, Israel's opposition leader and the nation's most prominent female politician.


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