Middle East

Ex-Israeli president released from prison after 5 years

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2011 file photo, Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav arrives at the Supreme court, in Jerusalem.  Katsav was  released from prison after serving 5 years for rape conviction, Wednesday, Dec.21, 2016. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2011 file photo, Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav arrives at the Supreme court, in Jerusalem. Katsav was released from prison after serving 5 years for rape conviction, Wednesday, Dec.21, 2016. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)  (The Associated Press)

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav has been released from prison after serving five years of a seven-year sentence for rape and other sex crimes.

Katsav walked out of the Maasiyahu prison in central Israel on Wednesday, escorted by his wife and a small group of supporters. He smiled but did not comment to reporters.

Katsav was granted early release last week by a parole board.

Katsav resigned in June 2007 after being charged with rape and sexual harassment. He began his sentence in 2011 after being convicted of two counts of rape.