Moshe Katzav, former president of Israel, was given his first 24 hour leave from prison Monday. Aside from a short break to attend his son's wedding, this is Katzav's first time away from his seven year jail sentence.
The Former President of Israel was convicted of two counts of rape of former employees and sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2010. Following a failed appeal to the Supreme Court he began serving his sentence in November 2011, at the Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla.
Upon leaving prison, Katzav will go directly to the local police station to sign a registry of prisoners on leave. Prison authorities say that time allotted for home leave is an important part of the rehabilitation of prisoners.
Katzav's brother Lior told journalists waiting outside the prison: "Moshe Katsav has been served an injustice. The harsh strictness exposed in this case is testament to the injustice. He has been convicted of acts that didn't take place. The battle to overturn his conviction continues, the truth will come to light, we haven't heard the last word yet."
A close friend of the Katzav family told Arutz 7 the day was especially emotional since Katzav's grandchildren hadn't seen him for a long period of time. Adding: "He has been served an injustice," by a small group of women who they said beat the former president with the full force of Israeli media.
Moshe Katzav himself refused to answer questions from journalists.
Katzav has now served a year and nine months, a quarter of his seven year prison term. In accordance with prison regulations, he will now be eligible for a single day-long vacation from prison every month for the remainder of his sentence. In the latter stage of his sentence, each period of leave will be extended to 48 hours.