A parole board rejected on Wednesday former President Moshe Katsav’s bid for early release. Katsav’s lawyer Zion Amir said that the president intends to appeal the parole board’s decision.
The parole board’s decision said that Katsav is not willing to admit to the offenses in which he was convicted and to accept responsibility for his actions.
Katsav “continues to claim his innocence despite the court’s ruling in the case, and is busy in trying to prove innocence… as if there was no due process” the prole board said.
The parole board also noted the fact that Katsav, who was convicted in 2010 of rape, commission of an indecent act by force, sexual harassment, and obstruction of justice, refused to undergo rehabilitation programs in prison.
The parole board discussed Katsav’s early release on Sunday, but failed to reach a decision due to differences of opinion. Representatives of the State Prosecution did not attend the parole hearing on Wednesday due to a labor dispute.
Last week, Katsav’s appeared before the parole board at a hearing that lasted 11 hours. Katsav, who was president of Israel between 2000 and 2007, pleaded to the parole board asking that they reduce his prison term by a third.
Former President Moshe Katsav deemed two counts of rape a mere “misunderstanding on the women’s part” during a parole hearing on Sunday, while his lawyer viciously assailed the complainants, sources in the prosecution said on Tuesday.
He said he had a relationship with both women, and because they were young and inexperienced, they didn’t understand the nature of a relationship and misinterpreted his acts. He also said he was willing to apologize, but for a misunderstanding, not for rape.
Consequently, the sources said, the hearing strengthened the prosecution’s view that Katsav doesn’t understand the gravity of what he did, and therefore doesn’t deserve parole.
His attorney, Zion Amir, assailed the principal complainant, the sources added. Inter alia, he said she was currently married with children, and therefore clearly hadn’t suffered by his client’s acts, so Katsav’s continued imprisonment served nothing but vengeance. He also accused her of intentionally humiliating Katsav in her statements to the media and, like his client, claimed the two counts of rape amounted to a misinterpreted hug.
The state opposes Katsav’s request on the grounds that he has never admitted to the offenses of which he was convicted and hadn’t expressed remorse for his actions, which, according to the state, means he hasn’t undergone substantial rehabilitation. Granting parole under such circumstances, The prosecution argued, would send the wrong message to victims of sexual offenses and could do damage to the public’s faith in the judicial system.