Former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav has appealed for clemency from President Shimon Peres after serving less than a year of his seven-year sentence, Israeli media reported on Monday. His wife Gila submitted the clemency request to the President’s office herself.
Katsav, who continues to protest his innocence and has never shown public remorse for his crime, asked to be released from prison because, he claimed, he didn’t have a fair trial.
The appeal is currently in the hands of the Justice Ministry from where it will be brought for consideration by Peres, along with the recommendation of the justice minister.
Katsav, 66, was incarcerated in 2011 after being convicted of two counts of rape and a series of sexual offenses against other women. He claimed that due to the public nature of the trial and media bias he did not enjoy his right to the presumption of innocence.
Katsav also argued that his resignation from the presidency, the ordeal of his trial, sentencing and eventual imprisonment, should be considered punishment enough.
In order to receive a pardon, prisoners must show remorse for their actions and, in the case of sex offenders, must attend a Prison Service rehabilitation course, neither of which the former president has done. In addition, victims of the offender are entitled to give their written opinion before clemency is considered.
In May 2012, Katsav lost an appeal for a retrial, leaving clemency as his only option for an early release.