Former Israeli president may kill himself: Report

Former president Moshe Katsav has been sentenced to 7 years in jail for rape.

Updated: Mar 24, 2011, 15:45 PM IST

Jerusalem: A lawyer for a former Israeli president convicted of rape fears his client may commit suicide if he is forced to serve his seven-year sentence.

Attorney Zion Amir says he has a "real fear" Moshe Katsav could kill himself before his imprisonment, which is to begin in May. The Maariv daily carried Amir`s remarks on Thursday.

Katsav`s defence team plans to appeal the sentence, which was handed down on Tuesday.

Amir says it`s difficult to imagine Katsav stepping inside a jail cell and "having a heavy steel door slam behind him”.

Katsav was convicted of raping a former employee and sexually harassing two others. He was also convicted of indecent acts and obstruction of justice.

The 65-year-old Katsav broke down in tears at his sentencing and screamed at the judges.

Bureau Report