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.