Katsav Tel Aviv 22.3.11 Reuters
Former President Moshe Katsav leaves Tel Aviv District Court on March 22, 2011, after he was sentenced to seven years in jail for rape. Photo by Reuters
Text size

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that former President Moshe Katsav will not serve time in prison pending the outcome of his appeal of his rape conviction.

Last week, the court convened to hear Katsav's appeal, who claimed that the sexual relations with the complainant were consensual.

Katsav 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.

He was supposed to begin his sentence on Sunday, but was allowed to remain free, when the Supreme Court accepted his request to stay out of jail pending the outcome of his appeal.

Katsav's attorney Avigdor Feldman said at the start of the hearing that there was no concern that his client would evade justice if his prison term was delayed, and added that he did not pose a threat to society.

Feldman also said that the court should take into account special circumstances, such as the fact that Katsaz is a former president, adding that the court should avoid the possible occurance in which Katsav will enter the prison as a former president, and will be equated of the charges shortly after.