The former lover of David Norris has denied claims he is a pedophile in the wake of the row that cost his boyfriend the chance to succeed Mary McAleese as president of Ireland.
Norris’ long term partner Ezra Yishak Nawi has insisted that he did not know the 15-year-old boy he had sex with was underage. Nawi has claimed the Palestinian boy assured him he was over 16, the age of consent in Israel.
After a five year legal battle, he was sentenced to six months in prison in 1997 for the statutory rape of the boy but only served three months.
During one High Court appeal in Jerusalem, Norris intervened on Nawi’s behalf, pleading for clemency and a non-custodial sentence.
The Irish Independent reports that the prosecution struggled from the outset to make a case against Nawi as the victim was reluctant to give evidence against the openly gay campaigner.
David Norris withdraws from Irish presidential race- VIDEO
An award winning Israeli director who spent five years filming Nawi for the 2007 documentary ‘Citizen Nawi’ told the paper that Nawi did not know the Palestinian boy was underage.
“Nawi did not know the age of the boy and the boy told him that he was over 16,” said Nissim Mossek, director of Biblical Productions.
“He is not afraid to be arrested or put in jail, but he is not at all a pedophile. He made a mistake, he went to jail and he has paid his debt to society.
“Nawi is a genuine and honest person who had been very courageous in his fight for Palestinians.”
Mossek repeated claims, denied by their Dublin embassy, that the Israeli government was involved in the revelation of Norris’ support for Nawi.
He added: “I would not be surprised if the Israeli government was involved.”