The Israel Prison Service parole board on Thursday rejected former president Moshe Katsav’s appeal for early parole from his seven-year jail sentence for rape.
Katsav entered Ramle’s Ma’asiyahu Prison in December 2011, after he was sentenced to seven years in prison for rape and other sexual assault offenses.
In April, after serving two-thirds of his sentence, Katsav’s request for release was rejected by the parole board. But he appealed the decision and appeared in front of the parole board again last month.
Katsav’s lawyers had argued that the former president was not legally obligated to admit guilt to gain an early release, that the parole board was mistaken in ruling that he still poses a danger of raping women, and that his health has plummeted since his early request was rejected, putting his life in danger.
However, the State Attorney’s Office had opposed Katsav’s release since he has not publicly taken responsibility or apologized for his crimes.
Katsav also filed a request earlier this year to President Reuven Rivlin for a pardon, but that process was frozen by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked in mid-June since her ministry will not consider pardons as long as there are pending legal proceedings.
Former Katsav adviser Odelia Karmon, who was the main character witness against him in his trial, told TOT Thursday that the verdict to keep him in jail was a “responsible and fair decision that put the good of the victim ahead of the good of her attacker.”
“I am happy to see that despite the criminal abandonment of the government in dealing with the issue of sexual assault and harassment, fair professionals who acted properly can still be relied upon,” Karmon said.
Karmon worked for Katsav at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s in the Transportation Ministry. Her case against Katsav was disqualified because too much time passed but she was used as a character witness in the trial in which he was convicted of raping an aide who worked for him when he was tourism minister.