Former Justice Minister: Katsav Should Be Pardoned After He Is Sentenced

Yossi Beilin tells Channel 1 that ex-president's trial was traumatic for the country but that Israeli democracy passed the test.

Former justice minister Yossi Beilin told Channel 1 on Tuesday that ex-president Moshe Katsav should be pardoned after he is sentenced for his rape conviction.

Beilin said he thinks that once Katsav is sent to jail the right thing to do would be to immediately ease his sentence.

Former President Moshe Katsav arrives to hear the verdict in his rape trial at Tel Aviv District Court, December 30, 2010.Tal Cohen

Beilin said that it would not be right for Israelis to see a former president in prison. He added that Katsav's real punishment would be having to face his wife, children and neighbors.

"That is much worse than prison," Beilin said.

Beilin said that the Katsav trial had been traumatic for  Israel.

"For Israeli democracy, this was a type of test that it passed," he said. "Something happened that happens almost nowhere in the world and we need to be proud of our system."