Prison sentence postponed for Katsav

Israel’s Supreme Court has postponed the date former President Moshe Katsav will begin serving his prison sentence on rape and sexual assault convictions.

Katsav had been scheduled to enter prison Sunday, May 8 to serve a seven-year sentence; on May 2 he appealed his conviction on rape and sexual assault charges and requested a delay of his prison sentence, which was granted by the court May 3.

Katsav’s attorneys requested that the former Israeli president’s imprisonment be delayed pending a final decision on the appeal, which was set by the court for May 11. The conviction was handed down in the Tel Aviv District Court in December.

Katsav also was ordered to pay more than $28,000 to the rape victim and about $7,000 to the sexual assault victim. He was ordered to serve two years of probation after he is released from prison.

Katsav, who immigrated to Israel from Iran in 1951, was elected president by the Knesset in 2000 in an upset of Shimon Peres. In 2007, Peres assumed the post following Katsav’s resignation. — jta