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High Court to rule on Katsav deal

Israel’s High Court on Justice will decide whether to uphold former president Moshe Katsav’s plea bargain.

A five-justice panel on Tuesday will rule on petitions against the Attorney General’s Office decision last year to drop rape charges against Katsav in exchange for his confession to lesser offenses.

The plea bargain outraged feminist groups, who said the state risked playing down the severity of sex crimes and inviting charges of favoritism toward public figures.

Katsav, who resigned last year in disgrace, denied allegations by several former female staffers that he had raped or sexually harassed them.

Under the plea bargain, the ex-president would receive a suspended prison sentence and pay $12,000 in compensation to two of the complainants. A rape conviction carries a penalty of as much as seven years behind bars.

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