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Rivlin rejects request to cancel terms of ex-president Katsav's release

Former Israeli president Moshe Katsav has always maintained his innocence despite being convicted in December 2010 on two counts of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice
Jack Guez (AFP/File)
His previous applications were turned down, in part because he had expressed no remorse over his crimes

Israeli president Reuven Rivlin on Sunday denied a request to cancel the terms of the release of former President Moshe Katsav, jailed for for rape and other sexual offences, according to Israeli media reports. 

Katsav has throughout his incarceration continued to assert his innocence on convictions of two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

President Rivlin clarified that the Parole Board had ordered his release on restrictive conditions and a rehabilitation plan that would continue until the end of his official prison term in December 2018.

Katzav began his sentence in December 2011 and has already been rejected twice by the parole board since he became eligible for the customary one-third reduction for good behavior behind bars.

His previous applications were turned down, in part because he had expressed no remorse over his crimes and undergone no rehabilitative process. 

Katsav became president in 2000 and for months defied enormous public pressure to quit over the allegations before ultimately resigning in 2007.

He was replaced in the largely ceremonial post by Nobel Peace laureate and elder statesman Shimon Peres  who passed away in September 2016. 

Rivlin took over the post in 2014. 

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