Disgraced Israeli ex-president to lose perks

An Israeli parliament committee passed a measure on Monday that would strip many post-office perks from disgraced former president Moshe Katsav, embroiled in a sex scandal. The Knesset finance committee voted to strip privileges accorded to former presidents, prime ministers, ministers and magistrates who have been convicted of moral turpitude offences. “These senior officials will see themselves denied advantages linked to their former positions,” said the text of the resolution passed unanimously by the committee. Katsav, who stepped down in June, had originally been suspected of rape but under a plea bargain deal recognised responsibility for sexual harassment, indecent acts and witness subordination in return for the deal with the prosecution withdrawing the rape charges. Monday’s vote would leave Katsav without the following benefits if the plea bargain agreement goes through or he is convicted of original charges: an official residency in Jerusalem for seven years following the end of his term; an office, two personal assistants and a car with a chauffeur; and funding of the expenses of his private home for the same period of time. Katsav was replaced in the largely ceremonial post of head of state by veteran statesman and Nobel peace laureate Shimon Peres.

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