Prison delay for politician in rape case

By Jennifer Lipman, May 18, 2011
Moshe Katzav

Moshe Katzav

Convicted rapist Moshe Katzav will remain outside of prison until his appeal is heard, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled today.

The former Israeli president could be free for several more months while the case is reviewed.

He was sentenced to seven years in jail for rape and sexual assault convictions in March, but at the beginning of May announced that he would challenge the ruling.

The judge said that Mr Katzav's prospects for a successful appeal were not "baseless" after defence lawyers argued the 65-year-old politician was not a flight risk.

Mr Katzav, the highest ranking Israeli official ever to be sentenced to jail, welcomed the news.

He said it was the "final proof that my arguments are right and are worthy of being properly addressed in the Supreme Court."

But the politician, who has long maintained his innocence, added: "The bigger battle still awaits us."

Last updated: 4:04pm, May 18 2011