Knesset: Last Ditch Effort to Prevent Katzav's Jailing

MK from Shas wants former president to serve his sentence at home, with electronic cuffs. Katzav will enter jail Wednesday.

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Gil Ronen,

Moshe Katzav
Moshe Katzav
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Knesset's Interior Committee will discuss on Tuesday a proposal by MK Nissim Ze'ev of Shas, to let former president Moshe Katzav serve his jail sentence at home, with electronic cuffs. The debate will be held behind closed doors and is not expected to change the fact that Katzav is to enter prison Wednesday.

The discussion will be attended by Knesset members and representatives of the Israel Prisons Authority.

The Knesset Presidium decided Monday not to discuss MK Ze'ev's proposal. Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said, "The request that the Presidium approve a discussion on the matter was proposed to the Presidium not just as a procedural matter, but also to enhance the initiative publicly. I believe that since the Minister of Public Security has already announced his opposition to the initiative, and in view of the fact that the discussion in the Interior Committee has already been set to [Tuesday] morning, there is no need for the Presidium to express its opinion on the matter."

Ze'ev is among a group of Knesset members who are trying to find ways of avoiding Katzav's entry into jail – which is seen by many as a moment of ignominy for the State of Israel. While few Israelis see Katzav as innocent of wrongdoing, many see his trial and conviction for rape as a travesty of justice.

Others see it as the opposite -- proof that in Israel, no one is above the law and women may not be abused by men in positions of power.