Former MK on Katsav: Stop the cruelty

Michael Kleiner calls on court to release former President Moshe Katsav. 'The atmosphere reminds me of the guillotine.'

Benny Tucker,

Moshe Katsav
Moshe Katsav
Flash 90

Following the court's decision to resend Moshe Katsav's file to the parole board, former MK Michael Kleiner (Likud) explained to Arutz Sheva why he feels the former President should be released.

"I suppose that if the current President was Shimon Peres, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, Haim Herzog or Aharon Barak, Katsav would have already received clemency. They could have managed it without the crocodiles and hyenas attacking them. Nothing has changed since the plea bargain, which was approved by the Supreme Court, said that Katsav was supposed to only receive probation."

According to Kleiner, Katsav has paid the full price for his crimes. "The Tel Aviv District Court that convicted him sentenced him with a heavy penalty, on the awareness that Katsav is not a danger to the public and that he displays good conduct. It was taken into account that he would only serve two thirds of his punishment. He has already passed this, and has spent more than four and a half years in prison. He was already supposed to be home. If he just a random person named Buzaglo, he would be home already."

Kleiner claims that the hostility towards Katsav reminds him of the French guillotine. "They're stuck on the issue of whether or not he expressed regret. Do they expect someone who considers himself innocent and believes that he was unfairly convicted should express regret for what he doesn't believe he did? He is not willing to lie.

"This is a person who is in his 80s. He did some good things for this country, he was praised as a successful mayor and minister, he represented a social change. It's true that stumbled at times when others also stumbled. But there is a degree of revenge and cruelty in our public that brings to mind the crowds at the guillotine. Where is our compassion?"

He added that the affair must end. "I try not to discuss political issues often, but I must now allow myself because I think that there is a consensus. Moshe Katsav probably won't return to public life with the Likud, and I say this as a citizen who is concerned over what is happening in the Israeli society.

"The atmosphere jumps from one extreme to the other. It's true they used him as an example, which is fine as a deterrent, but it must be balanced with the fact that this is a person who was deprived of his dignity and his life, since only the end of our careers are remembered. They should at least let him go home and spend his last years at home."