Former president Moshe Katsav will take his first scheduled furlough from prison on September 9, shortly after completing the first quarter of a sentence stemming from his 2011 rape conviction.
Typically, prisoners who have served a quarter of their sentence are eligible for their first furlough. Sex offenders, though, are eligible only once they have admitted their crimes, expressed remorse, and completed a counseling program, and a prison psychologist has confirmed that they are no longer a danger to the public.
Prison officials approved Katsav’s request for a 24-hour leave even though he still maintains his innocence and has never publicly expressed remorse for his crimes, according to the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.
The former president was convicted of rape, sexual assault and harassment of a number of female employees while he served as tourism minister and president. He was sentenced to seven years in prison, but has since been waging a campaign for release on numerous fronts.
In May 2012 he lost an appeal for a retrial, after which his family filed a request for clemency to President Shimon Peres in December. Katsav is still awaiting approval from the Justice Ministry that would allow Peres to review his plea. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has recommended against pardoning Katsav.
Katsav first applied for furlough in July. He was granted an earlier reprieve in May 2012 under special circumstances to attend his son’s wedding.