Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav could find out Sunday if he will be granted an early release from prison, the Jerusalem Post reported. Last Sunday, Katsav asked a parole board for about a one-third reduction in a seven-year prison sentence for rape, the Times of Israel reported.
Katsav, who was in office 2000-07, has served four years and four months of his sentence, and would leave prison in July if he is granted parole. The 70-year-old entered prison in December 2011 after being convicted in 2010 on two counts of rape, among other charges.
— The Jerusalem Post (@Jerusalem_Post) April 2, 2016
He is scheduled to be released in 2018, but could leave this year if his parole request is granted. The Jerusalem Post reported that key factors considered for parole include a "prisoner’s behavior in jail, absence of danger to commit future offenses, extent of rehabilitation, and the public interest."
But the parole request has angered some lawmakers and at least one of Katsav's victims. "It would be unprecedented in Israel, and would send a very negative message, both about women and about sex offenders," Odelya Carmon told Army Radio last Sunday, according to the Times of Israel.
“I don’t think that at his age he’s going to get out and force himself on women, but there is still an extraordinary danger here,” Carmon said. “How will hundreds of women I have met feel about his parole when he hasn’t even admitted [to his misdeeds], when he claims that all these women were liars?"
Katsav has maintained his innocence. During a parole hearing last week, he called the two rape convictions a "misunderstanding," Hareetz reported, citing prosecution sources. Prosecutors reportedly felt this helped their case, saying the comment demonstrated that Katsav did not understand the gravity of his acts. The Times of Israel reported that early release is common in the Israeli prison system, with a majority of prisoners getting the one-third sentence-reduction that Katsav is seeking.