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Middle east

Ex-president's rape trial opens

Video by Louis MASSIE

Latest update : 2009-05-14

The trial of Israel's former president Moshe Katsav (pictured), who stands accused of rape, sexual harassment and indecent acts, opened in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

AFP - The trial of Israel's ex-president Moshe Katsav on several accounts of rape, sexual harassment and indecent acts opened on Thursday.
  
Katsav arrived at the Tel Aviv court at the start of the high-profile trial vowing to fight for his innocence in all charges which forced him to step down from office two years ago.
  
"We are starting today a tough and long struggle to clear my name and I promise once again that I will emerge innocent," the 63-year-old Iranian-born father of five told reporters.
  
Katsav has been indicted on two counts of rape, forcible indecent assault and abuse of power against an employee at his office while he was tourism minister in the 1990s, the ministry said.
  
He is also accused of sexually harassing at least one female employee while he was president, and of obstruction of justice, it said.
  
At least 56 witnesses have been called to testify, the justice ministry said.

Date created : 2009-05-14

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