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Lawyer for accused concentration camp guard joins Israeli president’s legal team


Moshe Katsav has hired a new lawyer, Attorney Yoram Sheftel, to join his defense team, the former president's brother Lior said in an interview with Channel 2 on Saturday.

Sheftel is best-known for defending convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk.

On Sunday, an associate at Sheftel's Ramat Gan-based law firm refused to confirm or deny Sheftel's hiring to The Jerusalem Post, but said that the attorney is currently abroad.

The former president is currently serving a seven year prison sentence after being unanimously convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court in 2010 of two counts of rape, two counts of sexual harassment, an indecent act using force, and obstruction of justice.

In November, the Supreme Court rejected Katsav's appeal against that conviction and sentence.

Lior Katsav's announcement comes days after the Supreme Court granted the former president's legal team a second extension in which to file a request for an additional appeal hearing before an expanded panel of justices.

In November, after the Supreme Court denied the former president's appeal, Katsav's lawyers, Avigdor Feldman, Zion Amir, Mickey Hoba and Avraham Lavie, asked the court to allow them extra time to file a request for a further hearing, saying that after studying the ruling, they believed there were grounds for further discussion.

Last week, Supreme Court registrar Guy Shani said that the former president's legal team must now submit their request by January 29th, 2012.

Lior Katsav's announcement also comes after the former president's defense lawyer Avigdor Feldman said in December that Katsav was considering not filing the request for an additional hearing.

"Moshe Katsav did not insist on an additional hearing," Lior Katsav told Channel 2, emphasizing that Feldman was still a member of the former president's defense team. "The family took that decision even though Katsav asked not to do it. Even those lawyers who recommended not going for an additional hearing think that there was a miscarriage of justice that should be overturned, but they are of the opinion that in the public atmosphere it was right to give up on that."

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