Former president Moshe Katsav left prison on Monday morning for his first 24-hour furlough since he was convicted of a series of sex crimes, including rape, in December 2011.
Katsav will spend the furlough at his home in Kiryat Malachi, and will be allowed to leave to attend prayers at a synagogue nearby. He will not have to wear an ankle monitor, but will have to check in with police at the end of the break before returning to prison.
Katsav’s brother and longtime supporter, Lior, greeted him outside the Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle on Monday morning, along with a small group of relatives including Katsav’s son, Yisrael. Lior told reporters that “a great injustice was done to my brother,” before saying that he has spoken to a series of “high-ranking legal officials” who believe his brother was wrongfully convicted.
Katsav was awarded his furlough after meeting the legal requirements, including that he had served a quarter of his seven-year sentence and posed no risk to the public. If he does not violate the terms of the release his next furloughs stand to be 48 to 72 hours in duration, and he should be eligible to receive one on a monthly or bimonthly basis.
The furlough is the second time Katsav has been let out of prison. In May 2012 he was permitted to leave prison for a few hours to attend the wedding of his son.