Yoram Sheftel, the attorney who once defended Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk, has been chosen to represent Moshe Katsav in the former president's latest attempt to overturn his conviction for sex crimes.

After Katsav was sentenced by the Tel Aviv District Court last year, Sheftel said a grave injustice had been done. "Katsav's cry is that of a man who has been thrown like an unwanted vessel into prison for seven years, although he is innocent of any crime."

The attorney also said Katsav's trial was the "most scandalous ever held in this country since Demjanjuk's shameful show trial in the district court."

Sheftel was instrumental in the Supreme Court's reversal of John Demjanjuk's conviction in 1993; Demjanjuk had initially been sentenced to death for being "Ivan the Terrible" of Treblinka.

Katsav began his seven-year sentence last month after he was convicted of a number of sex crimes, including rape, when he was tourism minister and later president.

His first petition to the Supreme Court was unanimously rejected, but they game him an extention on the time he has to submit a new petition to the High Court of Justice.

Legal experts say the court is unlikely to grant the petition because the first Supreme Court ruling was based on facts found by the district court, which were not in dispute and therefore would not be discussed by an expanded bench.