Parole Board to Rule on Fate of Disgraced Ex-president Moshe Katsav

Though reluctant to admit wrongdoing, Katsav, who was convicted of rape, has recently changed his tune, and according to report gave parole board 'more details of where he went wrong.'

AFP

The Prison Service parole board is to decide Thursday whether to commute the sentence of former president Moshe Katsav, who is serving seven years for rape and other sexual offenses.

In the meantime, the panel also discussed and agreed to the requests to commute the sentence of Etti Alon, a former banker convicted of embezzlement. It will also discuss the sentence of former judge Dan Cohen, who was convicted of taking a bribe.

The panel has recently met twice to discuss Katsav’s request to commute his sentence. The discussions took place after the Lod District Court ordered the board to reconsider, following a new opinion submitted by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority in favor of commuting Katsav’s sentence.

The authority changed its former approach and now says Katsav can be released and take part in a rehabilitation program, despite his denial of the offenses he was convicted for. Until recently the authority demanded that Katsav admit he had committed a crime and express regret as a condition for commuting his sentence.

The State Prosecutor’s Office still opposes commuting Katsav’s sentence. The parole board rejected the former president’s request for parole after completing two thirds of his sentence at the beginning of April, saying, “The prisoner still sees himself as a victim, is preoccupied with blaming others for his situation, still conducts himself aggressively and is preoccupied only with himself, his needs, his losses and with the price he and his family paid.”

Members of the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority told Channel 10 News Wednesday night that “the authority’s previous opinion shook Katsav up. It’s not easy for him, at his age and status. He gave more details of where he went wrong, unlike at the previous meeting.”

Alon was released from Neveh Tirza Prison on Thursday after serving 14-and-a-half years of her 17-year sentence. In February the parole board rejected Alon’s request to commute her sentence, but suggested the sides agree to release her in six months time, a scenario that played out early Thursday.

Alon started serving her sentence in April 2002, after being convicted of conspiracy to commit a crime and embezzling more than 250 million shekels from Trade Bank to cover her brother Ofer Maximov’s gray market debts.

Etti Alon leaves Neveh Tirza Prison on August 4, 2016.
Moti Milrod