Hoping for Presidential Pardon, Katsav Won’t Appeal Parole Rejection

The ex-president and his family believe that another rejection would undermine Katsav's chances of obtaining a pardon from current President Reuven Rivlin.

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Moshe Katsav outside his home before departing for Ma'asiyahu prison, Dec. 7, 2011.Credit: AFP

Former President Moshe Katsav, who is imprisoned for rape and other sexual offenses, is not appealing the refusal last month by an Israel Prison Service parole board to commute his sentence by one-third. Sunday was the last day to appeal.

In their rejection, the parole board said that Katsav had "failed to show remorse or empathy toward that victims."

Although his attorney thought the appeal had a chance, Katsav and his family believed that another rejection would undermine his chances of obtaining a pardon from President Reuven Rivlin.

Rivlin has said that he would consider Katsav’s request “as he considers any other pardon request.”

Katsav's family submitted a pardon request in 2012 to former president Shimon Peres, who neither accepted nor rejected the appeal. Tzipi Livni, who was justice minister at the time, filed a response opposing such a step citing an opinion submitted by ministry professionals.

By law, a prisoner can ask for a parole board review every six months, and Katsav will apply again if Rivlin does not pardon him.