TEL AVIV, Israel, June 30 (UPI) -- About 20,000 people rallied Saturday night in Tel Aviv to protest the plea bargain offered Israeli President Moshe Katsav in a sexual assault case.
Katsav resigned Friday, a requirement of his deal with Attorney General Menachem Mazuz. Under the plea agreed to Thursday, Mazuz said he would not argue for a prison term and would allow Katsav to plead guilty to lesser charges than rape.
Protesters carried signs with messages like "Katsav to jail" and "There is no light rape," Ynetnews reported.
Mazuz, in an interview with "Meet the Press" on Channel 2, defended his decision. He said most of the alleged sexual assaults could not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired.
Mazuz said it was clear that Katsav had a long history of sexual assaults.
"We met a president and he turned out to be a man who behaved like a serial sexual offender for many years," he said.
But he said one case that could have been prosecuted -- that of a woman identified only as "A" who worked in the president's residence -- had major problems. A, Mazuz said, had given contradictory statements to police and there was no independent proof she was assaulted.