Former President Moshe Katsav, currently serving a seven-year sentence for various sex offenses, will have his request for parole reconsidered next month.
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In August, the Israel Prison Service parole board rejected Katsav’s request that he be released after serving two-thirds of his prison term for rape and other sexual offenses, upholding a previous decision it made in April. At the time, it promised to reconsider the issue in another six months.
The board rejected Katsav’s earlier request, despite a new opinion by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority that it didn’t consider him admitting his crimes and expressing regret to be preconditions for parole. Katsav has never done either, but the authority nevertheless said it saw positive changes in his behavior.
The authority discerned “initial sparks of understanding of the flaws in his character that led him to exploit others, hurt them and utilize his enormous power while serving in positions of authority,” its opinion stated. “In our view, this is a change – even if a slight one – from our previous assessment.”
The parole board, however, was unconvinced. It said its members had also noticed some “initial sparks” of change during Katsav’s appearance before it, including the fact that he now appeared willing to begin treatment to address “his various problems, and he is beginning to understand the problematic nature of his previous conduct.”
Nonetheless, it added, “the process hasn’t yet been completed,” and must go further before he can be eligible for parole.