Katsav Appeals Rape Conviction

Katsav Appeals Rape Conviction

(JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court has postponed the date that former President Moshe Katsav must begin serving his prison sentence on rape and sexual assault convictions.

Katsav had been scheduled to enter prison May 8 to serve a seven-year sentence, but the court granted a delay Tuesday following his appeal the previous day. The court set a May 11 date to hear a final appeal by Katsav’s attorneys.

The conviction was handed down in the Tel Aviv District Court in December.

The 300-page appeal suggested that it would be undignified for Katsav to show up at the Supreme Court for his appeal in handcuffs, according to reports. The appeal also asked that "weighty consideration should be given to the fact that Katsav served as the president of the State and Israel’s official representative at home and abroad."

The yearlong trial, ended with a guilty verdict on Dec. 30. Two years before the verdict was handed down, Katsav declined what was seen as a lenient plea bargain — one that dropped the rape charges for lesser charges and likely would have left him with a suspended sentence — saying that he wanted to clear his name in court.

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