Israeli court delays jailing of former president

Israel's Supreme Court has delayed a jail term for an ex-Israeli president convicted for sex crimes until after a hearing on his appeal.

Moshe Katsav was convicted of rape in December. He was set to begin his seven-year jail sentence on May 8.

The high court decided Tuesday to delay his imprisonment at least until the hearing later this month.

Lawyers for Katsav filed the appeal this week.

Katsav was convicted of raping an employee when he was a Cabinet minister in 1998 and of sexual harassment involving two other women when he was president from 2000 to 2007.

He was sentenced in March, making him the country's highest ranking official ever ordered to prison.

Katsav has denied the charges, claiming he is a victim of a political witch hunt.