Katsav makes plea for early release from prison

Former president Moshe Katsav addressed the parole board on Sunday pleading for early release from prison, where he has served approximately two-thirds of a seven-year sentence for rape.
Katsav reportedly burst into tears during the closed-doors hearing.
A decision is expected to be announced Sunday, with the key factors being: the prisoner’s behavior in jail; absence of danger to commit future offenses; extent of rehabilitation; and the public interest.
Although the 12-hour hearing was behind closed doors, it was expected that the prosecution opposed Katsav’s early release from Ma’asiyahu prison in Ramle, attacking his refusal to take responsibility for his actions or express regret as proof that he has not rehabilitated.
They also were expected to have stated that the former head of state’s refusal to take responsibility meant he did not go through the jail’s rehabilitation program for sex offenders.
Furthermore, they had been expected to argue that an early release would add harm to his victims and send the wrong message to the public about the severity of sexual offenses.
Presiding over the parole board is retired judge Moshe Mechlis, who is joined by a sociologist and a psychologist.
Katsav’s lawyers had been expected to rest their plea for an early release on his good behavior in prison, his worsening health, age and an argument that he is no danger to society. Along those lines, they were to have argued that even his past offenses were connected to his power as president, an office he will never return to again.
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