by Mara Vigevani
The Lod District Court has rejected an request by former President Moshe Katzav to ease parole restrictions, the court said Wednesday.
Katzav, 72, had asked the court to suspend a condition of his parole requiring him to remain under house arrest at night. The appeal, filed by attorneys Shani Iluz and Zion Amir, claimed that the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority supported the request and that canceling the restriction would help Katzav advance his rehabilitation.
Katzav was convicted of rape, sexual harassment, committing an indecent act while using force, harassing a witness and obstruction of justice in 2010 and served five years of a seven-year sentence before being granted an early release in December 2016. As part of the parole conditions, Katzav is forbidden to leave his home from 10 pm to 6 am and is ordered to observe the terms of a rehabilitation plan prescribed by the Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority.
The Rehabilitation plan Katzav includes attending daily religion lessons, weekly meetings of a religious treatment group and weekly meetings with a psychotherapist. The conditions will remain in effect until the official conclusion of his prison sentence in December 2018.
The State Attorney’s Office objected to Katsav’s request to cancel the nighttime ban, arguing that the restriction is a standard condition for prisoners convicted of sexual offenses and that there is no justification for special leniency, in this case, especially considering the feelings of the victims.
The current petition was Katzav’s latest attempt to obtain relief from the nighttime restriction. In August 2017, President Reuven (Ruvy) Rivlin rejected a similar request, explaining that the Parole Board had only approved Katzav’s release on the condition that he would be subject to the rehabilitation program and the relevant restrictions until the end of his official prison term.