Rivlin rejects ex-president Katsav’s appeal for eased parole
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Rivlin rejects ex-president Katsav’s appeal for eased parole

Convicted rapist who was freed last year asked sitting president to end his curfew and ban on leaving country

Former president Moshe Katsav walks out of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on November 10, 2011, after the court unanimously upheld the Tel Aviv District Court's rape conviction. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)
Former president Moshe Katsav walks out of the Supreme Court in Jerusalem on November 10, 2011, after the court unanimously upheld the Tel Aviv District Court's rape conviction. (Kobi Gideon/Flash90)

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday declined to ease the parole conditions of former president and convicted rapist Moshe Katsav, who was released from prison last December after serving five years in prison for rape and other sexual offenses.

In his response to Katsav, Rivlin wrote that the ex-president’s early release from prison was conditional on his parole limitations and “for this reason and the nature of his crime, there is no room to accept the request to remove them.”

Katsav, 71, was freed from Ma’asiyahu Prison in December 2016 after serving two-thirds of a seven-year jail sentence. Under the terms of his parole, Katsav is not allowed to make any statements to the media until December 2018, when his full seven-year sentence would have ended. The former president is also barred from leaving the country and from leaving his home in Kiryat Malachi between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The former president is also required to attend rehab and visit a psychologist once a week, as well as attend daily Torah study sessions.

President Reuven Rivlin speaks during a ceremony for newly appointed judges at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, on July 20, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
President Reuven Rivlin speaks during a ceremony for newly appointed judges at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on July 20, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In May, he appealed to Rivlin to have the limitations removed, citing his advanced age and his good behavior in prison.

Under Israeli law the president has the authority to pardon or commute the sentences of convicts, a power presidents rarely use. In past cases the President’s Office has said applications for commutation are considered in accordance with the advice of the Justice Ministry and relevant sources.

Earlier this year, Katsav lost a similar appeal made to the Israel Prisons Service Parole Board.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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