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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Professors call Katsav's conduct despicable

Professors call Katsav's conduct despicable

President's behavior during speech closely resembled that of a common criminal, eminent law professor tells Ynet
Oren Rice Published:  01.25.07, 00:20

Prominent professors of law watched in shock as President Moshe Katsav delivered a frantic speech Wednesday evening in which he venomously attacked all of Israel's institutions, including the police, attorney general, government and media.
Dean of the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Professor Yoav Dotan, told Ynet, "In my opinion he acted more like a criminal caught in the act than like a public figure behaving responsibly and respectably to prove his innocence."

 President's Defense
"In light of the fact that he is still serving as the nation's president, this whole situation is humiliating. His pathetic insistence on holding onto his post is despicable in every sense, and is especially demeaning to the presidential institution.

"I can't seriously believe that the president's attorneys believe something significant will change at the hearing. If it was one episode, or a minimal offense, or an unambiguous factual situation – then the hearing might change things," Dotan said. "But after the attorney general and the state prosecutors examined the evidence, I can't believe they would believe that the tables might turn."
'Katsav's conduct doesn't suit a public figure'
He called Katsav's attempt to incite the public against the law enforcement system and buy time "a cynical trick."

"This type of conduct better suits an ordinary criminal than a public figure," he stated.

According to Dotan, the president should resign, and if he fails to do so, the Knesset must dismiss him.
Emanuel Gross, Professor of Criminal Law at Haifa University, told Ynet he was severely disappointed in Katsav's speech and called it "an unbecoming and even cynical exploitation of his
official position to attack law enforcers and the complainants against him without giving them the chance to respond. "

Gross said he found it hard to believe he was hearing such a spray of venom from the president's mouth.

"I would have expected him to resign before making such statements. This is a test for the Knesset, a test for democracy. I expect the Knesset to dismiss the president, and that seems obvious."

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