Ex-president Katsav freed early after five years in jail for rape


Former israeli President Moshe Katsav has been granted early release after serving five of his seven-year sentence for rape, sexual assault and obstruction of justice. 

The decision to release the disgraced politician came following an August parole hearing in which Katsav refused to express remorse for his actions, resulting in five further months of incarceration. 

At this hearing, Katsav supplied a statement acknowledging the suffering of his victims, although he stopped short of admitting he carried out the crimes of which he had been convicted. 

This, however, was enough for the parole board to reach the conclusion that he had “without doubt undergone a change”. The decision was greeted with condemnation from women’s rights organisations, Katsav’s former victims and some politicians. 

Odelia Karmon, one of the women who had been assaulted by Katsav while she worked for him during his period as Tourism Minister said: “Katsav expressed remorse in a faint voice and only in front of the parole board. The decision sends an unequivocal message to women that they have been abandoned.”

The State Prosecutor’s office had opposed the parole board’s decision but decided not to appeal. On Wednesday evening, Katsav was released. He will now have to observe night curfew until the end of his full sentence and attend daily and weekly seminars as part of his rehabilitation programme. 

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