Katsav requests presidential pardon on rape conviction

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav has filed a request for a presidential pardon.

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Katsav filed the request with the Justice Ministry. It will be forwarded to sitting President Shimon Peres.

Katsav is currently serving a seven-year jail sentence for his conviction on two counts of rape and other sexual offenses. He entered prison in December.

His petition reportedly asks for a pardon so that he can appeal the conviction and clear his name from outside of prison. It also says that Katsav did not get a fair trial and that having to resign as president was punishment enough.

He reportedly has not expressed remorse for his crime, necessary for receiving a pardon. 

Prisoners convicted of rape and other sexual violence must first undergo a rehabilitation program, in which Katsav is currently not participating, according to Haaretz.
Katsav’s appeal as currently tendered likely will be rejected by Peres.

Katsav, who immigrated to Israel from Iran in 1951, was elected president by the Knesset in 2000 in an upset over Shimon Peres. Katsav resigned in the wake of the allegations shortly before the end of his term in 2007, and Peres became president.

Katsav, 65, is the first Israeli president ever sentenced to prison. Israel’s Supreme Court upheld Katsav’s rape conviction and prison sentence last November.
 

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