Rivlin Will Consider Israeli Rapist Ex-president's Pardon Like 'Any Other Request'

The President's Residence clarifies that a new clemency request has yet to be filed following reports that Moshe Katsav's mental state has deteriorated after a parole board refused to shorten his prison sentence.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, November 3, 2014.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, November 3, 2014.Credit: AP
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

President Reuven Rivlin will consider former President Moshe Katsav's request for clemency "as he considers any other request for a pardon," the President's Residence said on Sunday.

It added that a new pardon request has yet been filed. When it's filed, the president will examine it upon receiving all the opinions of all relevant parties.

The Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Sunday that the former president's attorneys are set to file a new request for clemency following an extreme deterioration of Katsav's mental state and the deep depression he is suffering from after his appeal to shorten his prison sentence was rejected by a parole board last month.

The parole board said at the time that Katsav "sees himself as a victim, blaming external factors for his circumstances, is still conducting himself in an aggressive manner and is only occupied with himself, his needs, his losses and the price that he and his family have paid."

The board stated that Katsav "failed to show remorse or empathy toward victims, while repeating the high price that he has paid and continues to pay."

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked reportedly brought up the subject of Katsav's pardon in conversation with Rivlin two months ago. Rivlin apparently refused to become engaged in the issue, and clarified to Shaked that a discussion on Katsav's pardon was irrelevant at the time.

A 2012 request for clemency filed by Katsav through his family is still awaiting Rivlin. The request was made during the term of former President Shimon Peres, who did not answer or reject it. A review of the matter by former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who opposed clemency based on the professional opinion of the parole board, was also filed at the same time.

MK Aida Touma-Suleiman (Joint List), the chairwoman of the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women, issued a statement asking Rivlin to reject Katsav's clemency request "and convey a clear message to all the women in Israel whose safety and well-being is important to him and that he has zero tolerance for sexual violence."

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