Israel’s former President, Moshe Katsav was on Wednesday freed on parole after serving five of his seven-year prison sentence for rape and other sexual offenses.
Live television and radio broadcasts showed Katsav walking out of the Maasiyahu Prison, east of Tel Aviv, where about a dozen of family members and supporters were waiting for him.
He hugged his wife, Gila, and entered a car that took him to his home in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi.
His release came about an hour after the State Attorney Shai Nitzan said that the prosecution would not appeal the Parole Committee’s decision to grant Katsav an early release.
Under the terms of his parole, Katsav would have to join a prison service rehabilitation programme.
He would also have to stay under house arrest every night, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., until the end of his parole period.
The committee also imposed restrictions on speaking to the media and forbid him to hold a job position in which he would have female subordinates.
Katsav, 71, was born in Iran and became the first president who was born in a Muslim country.
He served as Israel’s seventh president between 2000 and 2007.
In 1977, at the age of 30, he first became a parliament member with the right-wing Likud party.
In November 2011, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed his conviction on two counts of rape of a former employee during his term as a tourism minister in the 1990s.
He was also convicted of indecent sexual assaults and sexual harassment of two other women while being president, and obstruction of justice.