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Israel's ex-president Moshe Katsav to be freed after prison term for sex crimes

An Israeli parole board has accepted an appeal for early release by a former president who is serving a prison sentence for sex crimes.

The board ruled on Sunday that Moshe Katsav can walk free next week after serving five years of his seven-year jail term.

The board had previously twice rejected Katsav's parole requests.

Katsav's lawyer Zion Amir said Katsav burst into tears upon hearing the news.

Katsav resigned in June 2007 after being charged with rape and sexual harassment. He began his sentence in 2011 and has repeatedly professed his innocence.

Israel's presidency is a largely ceremonial office, typically filled by a respected elder statesman expected to rise above politics and serve as a moral compass. Most political power is in the hands of the prime minister.

AP

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