Ex-President Katsav's Early Release Request Sent Back to Parole Board

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Former President Moshe Katsav en route home during his Passover leave, in 2015.
Katsav en route home for Passover leave in 2015. Filed a request for an appeal in May, after he had said he would not contest the board's decision. Credit: Nir Keidar

Former President Moshe Katzav's request to commute his sentence by a third for good behavior has been transferred back to the parole board, legal authorities said on Tuesday.

But Katsav, serving a seven-year jail term for rape and other sexual offenses, will be eligibile to appeal the panel's decision it to Lod District Court if necessary, the Prisoners' Rehabilitation Authority said.

The court decided to send the case back to the Parole Board after the Prisoners' Rehabilitation Authority announced a new policy according to which it will reexamine "complex and sensitive cases," including that of the former president. The Authority said that it could possibly provide a new opinion concerning Katsav's prospects for rehabilitation.

The decision superseded earlier plans to convene the court on Tuesday to hear Katzav's request, stemming from a decision by the parole board in April against granting him an early release.

Katsav filed his appeal of the board's decision in mid-May.

In rejecting Katsav's earlier request the board said it found that he "still sees himself as a victim and busy blaming external factors for his situation.”

The board has also said that the former president has “failed to show remorse or empathy toward the victims, while repeating the high price that he has paid and continues to pay.

In addition, the panel said that Katsav had refused to undergo rehabilitation programs in prison, and "continues to claim his innocence despite the court’s ruling in the case, and is busy trying to prove his innocence ... as if there had been no due process."

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