Supreme Court Rejects Katsav's Request to Delay Rape Sentence Appeal

Former president had been permitted to remain free pending outcome of appeal of 7-year rape sentence, but had asked to put off scheduled hearing due to his lawyers' planned family vacations.

The Supreme Court rejected Monday Former President Moshe Katsav's request to postpone the scheduled appeal of his rape sentence due his lawyers' planned family vacations.

The former president was convicted in December of two counts of rape against the complainant publicly identified as A. from the Tourism Ministry, and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Katzav - Alon Ron
Alon Ron

He was supposed to have begun his sentence on the eighth of May, but was allowed to remain free after the Supreme Court accepted his request to stay out of jail pending the outcome of his appeal.

In an unusual move, the court had decided to discuss Katsav's case during its summer recess. However, Katsav's lawyers requested that the appeal hearing scheduled for August of this year would be postponed as well, as a result of a planned family holiday, saying that postponing the vacation could cause the lawyers emotional distress.

Supreme Court Registrar Dana Cohen-Lekach decided Monday to reject Katsav's request, explaining that even though the court understands the lawyers' wish for a vacation, the court must hear the appeal within a relatively short time frame which necessitates several full days of discussion.

"This court made an effort to schedule the appeal hearing during the summer recess in order to diminish the harm to other people's already scheduled cases which are waiting to be heard in court."