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Katsav says he’s a ‘wreck,’ proclaims innocence

JTA

November 16, 2011 | 10:23 am

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav waves as he leaves the Supreme Court after the reading of his verdict in Jerusalem on Nov. 10. Photo by REUTERS/Uriel Sinai/Pool

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav waves as he leaves the Supreme Court after the reading of his verdict in Jerusalem on Nov. 10. Photo by REUTERS/Uriel Sinai/Pool

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav told an Israeli newspaper that he is a “wreck” but will not commit suicide.

Days after his rape conviction was upheld by the Israeli Supreme Court, Katsav said in interview with Yediot Achronot published Wednesday, “I promise my family that I will be strong, but even iron hit as many times as I have been hit in the past five years eventually bends.”

He added, “I curse the day I was elected president of the State of Israel.”

Katsav, 65, also apologized to his victims as he continued to proclaim his innocence.

“I apologize to the women who complained against me if I hurt them. I will continue fighting for my innocence,” he said in the interview. “My truth will come to light, even if it is after my death.”

Katsav said politics was behind his conviction in December on two counts of rape and other sexual offenses. In March, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

The Israeli daily Maariv also carried an interview with Katsav.

Katsav, who has been free pending the appeal, was given one month to put his affairs in order and is set to enter prison Dec. 7. He is the first Israeli president ever sentenced to prison.

The Supreme Court last week unanimously upheld Katsav’s conviction in Tel Aviv District Court and the court’s sentence.

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