Jailed former president goes on Passover furlough
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Jailed former president goes on Passover furlough

Currently serving a 7-year sentence for sexual offences, Moshe Katsav given 72-hour holiday leave

Former President Moshe Katsav, who is serving a seven-year sentence for rape, seen leaving Ma'asiyahu Prison with his wife Gila for a Passover furlough on April 3, 2015. (Flash90)
Former President Moshe Katsav, who is serving a seven-year sentence for rape, seen leaving Ma'asiyahu Prison with his wife Gila for a Passover furlough on April 3, 2015. (Flash90)

Former president Moshe Katsav left a Ramle prison on Friday for a 72-hour furlough for the Passover holiday.

The ex-president, in the fourth year of his seven-year sentence for sexual offenses, was released to his Kiryat Malachi home for the first days of the Jewish holiday.

Greeted outside Ma’asiyahu Prison by his wife Gila, Katsav declined to answer questions and wished reporters a happy holiday.

Katsav is serving seven years for rape, sexual assault and harassment of a number of female employees while tourism minister and president.

Under Israeli law, prisoners are granted periodic breaks if they serve over a quarter of their prison sentence with no disturbances, participate in a rehabilitation workshop, and are found not to be a danger to the public.

Last year, the Lod District Court rejected Katsav’s request for a 24-hour prison furlough to attend Passover Seder. In the ruling, the judge maintained that inmates cannot take two vacations within a 60-day span, and since the former president was released for 42 hours for Purim, he would not be permitted to return home for the holiday the following week.

In addition to Katsav’s Purim release last year, the former president was granted leave in 2012 for his son’s wedding, returned to his hometown of Kiryat Malachi for 24 hours in September 2013, and in October attended his grandson’s wedding.

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