Israel's former president Moshe Katsav decided on Sunday not to appeal the decision of the parole commission not to shorten his prison sentence by a third, according to reports by Channel 2.
The parole commission turned down the former president's bid for early release after serving five years out of a seven year sentence.
The Prisons Service parole board said its 18-page decision was based on its review of the former president’s fitness “to be released with conditions” and of the “dangers” entailed in him being let go.
The board wrote, “Before us is a prisoner who denies that he committed the crimes, who continues to claim his innocence despite the court decisions... which was manifested in his appearance before us.”
On that issue, the board adopted the prosecution’s position, finally officially revealed in the published portion of the decision, that Katsav could not be released early since no sexual offender has been released early without expressing regret.
According to the Channel 2 report, family and friends close to Katsav have said that since the parole commission denied his request for early release, there had been a significant decline in the former president's health and mental state and that he appears to have lost faith in the system.
Katsav can wait six months and then try again for an early release before the same parole board.
Last week Katsav submitted an official request for a pardon to President Reuven Rivlin. The President’s Office has said that Rivlin would consider any appeal of this nature in the same way that he considers all appeals, by examining all the factors involved and consulting with experts in the Justice Ministry.
By law, the president is empowered to grant pardons to convicted felons sent to prison.
Katsav was convicted of two counts of rape, one count of committing an indecent act using force, one count of committing an indecent act, two counts of sexual harassment, one count of harassing a witness and one count of obstructing justice. He entered Ma’asiyahu prison in December 2011.
Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.