President Rivlin Rejects Katsav's Request to Lift Parole Restrictions

President notes that Katsav, who served five years in prison for rape, was released early subject to 'critical' limitations during the probation period

Former President Moshe Katsav is released from prison, December 21, 2016.
Former President Moshe Katsav is released from prison, December 21, 2016. Moti Milrod

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday rejected a request by former President Moshe Katsav to eliminate the conditions that were imposed on him after he was granted early parole. Katsav served five years of a seven-year sentence following his conviction for rape and sexual assault.

Rejecting the request, Rivlin referred to the limitations and requirements that the parole board imposed on Katsav through the end of his probation period, which will be in December 2018. “Under these circumstances, and in light of the nature of the offenses, there are no grounds for acceding to the request to eliminate these critical conditions,” Rivlin said.

Katsav, who served as Israel’s president from 2000 to 2007, was convicted on two counts of rape in addition to sexual assault and sexual harassment. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in addition to compensation to his victims and a probation period. He was ultimately paroled in December of last year, over the objections of the prosecution, after serving five years of the term.

Katsav’s parole was conditioned on his returning to his home in Kiryat Malakhi and adhering to the rehabilitation program developed for him. It includes daily attendance at a Jewish studies program in Kiryat Malakhi, his participation in a weekly treatment support group and weekly treatment with a psychosocial therapist. He must remain under house arrest between the hours of 10 P.M. and 6 A.M. until the end of his original jail term. In addition, he is barred from granting media interviews or from taking on any work in which he would be in a position of authority over women.

The statement from Rivlin’s office noted that in April of last year, the parole board itself had rejected Katsav’s request to lift the parole limitations, saying that the therapeutic plan suggested by the former president was inadequate, considering his victims.

Rivlin noted that Katsav was granted parole subject to a detailed rehabilitation plan that “is a direct continuation of the therapy that he received while in prison.”