JERUSALEM, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Israel's supreme court Tuesday blocked a move that would have thrown out a plea-bargain deal in a sex-crimes case against former President Moshe Katsav.
The High Court of Justice voted 2-3 against the petitions that would have scuttled the deal in which rape charges against Katsav will be dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to charges of sexual harassment, indecent assault and harassing a witness.
Katsav was accused of coercing female staff members into having sex with him.
The court's decision outraged women's rights groups as well as the alleged victims, who reacted by saying they had been abandoned by the Israeli justice system.
Israel News said the majority opinion noted that the case against Katsav was based largely on circumstantial evidence and, therefore, it was in the public interest to dispose of the case through a plea deal.
The minority opinion, however, said the agreement was flawed and was in "stark opposition to public interest."