JERUSALEM — An Israeli court sentenced Moshe Katsav, the country’s former president, to seven years in prison for rape on Tuesday....Former President Moshe Katsav left a Tel Aviv courthouse on Tuesday after his sentencing. An appeal is expected....The sentencing is the latest stage in a sordid case that Israel’s leaders point to as proof of the principle of equality before the law, but also one in which the prestige of Israel’s highest office has been brought to a historic low.
Mr. Katsav, who has consistently maintained his innocence, burst into tears upon hearing the sentence, according to reports from inside the Tel Aviv courtroom, and shouted at the judges that they had made a mistake, crying out: “It is a lie! The girls know it is a lie!”...In December, Mr. Katsav, 65, was convicted of raping an employee — identified only by her first initial, A. — on two occasions while he was minister of tourism in 1998.
The court also convicted him of sexually abusing and harassing another woman and of harassing a third while he was president — a distinguished, if mostly ceremonial, position that Mr. Katsav held from 2000 to 2007. He was also convicted of obstruction of justice