Israel’s former president (photo, from bbcimg.co.uk), has been sentenced to seven years in jail for rape and other sex offences.
At an earlier hearing, Moshe Katsav, who resigned in 2007 from the mostly ceremonial post of president, was convicted of raping an employee in the 1990s while he was tourism minister, and of later sexual offences when he was president.
The court was told by the rape victim known as Woman A, that he had first attacked her at the tourism ministry office, and later at a hotel in Jerusalem.
Although at first Mr Katsav, 65, agreed with prosecutors to plead guilty to sexual misconduct, in order to avoid more serious charges, he later withdrew the agreement and denied the rape allegations.
He is the first former Israeli head of state to be jailed.
When sentencing him, the judges told him that no-one was above the law.
The Associated Press reported that when he heard the sentence Mr Katsav broke down in tears shouting at the judges : “You made a mistake. It is a lie. The girls know it is a lie.”
Because the court has allowed him a 30-day grace period in order to lodge an appeal, he will not go to jail immediately, his lawyers told the BBC.
Mr Katsav was convicted las December and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described it as “a sad day for Israel and its residents”.
After that the case was dubbed a political earthquake by Israeli media.
Court documents say that the former president committed the rape in April 1998, and sexually harassed two women in 2003 and 2005 during his presidency.
The judges said Mr Katsav’s evidence had been “riddled with lies”.
Judge George Karra told him: “We believe the plaintiff [Woman A] because her testimony is supported by elements of evidence and she told the truth.”
The conviction was welcomed by women’s groups in Israel, who explained that allegations of sexual harassment were ignored too often.