A silver jeep with blacked-out windows pulled up outside of the Ma’asiyahu
Prison in Ramle on Wednesday. It carried former president Moshe Katsav, who had
arrived to begin the first day of his seven-year prison sentence for a rape
“They’re executing a man in the State of Israel,” Katsav told
reporters outside of his Kiryat Malachi home earlier.
Katsav on way to prison: Israel is burying a man alive
Analysis:Katsav remains defiant
“One day, the truth
will come out. I don’t know when. It’ll be with or without me,” he said. “I’ve
acted honorably with everyone.”
Katsav was sentenced in March to seven
years in prison. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing, but three Supreme
Court justices ruled unanimously against his appeal last month. He has asked the
court for another hearing with an expanded panel.
“Today a bloody,
unrelenting five-and-a-half- year struggle is ending in frustration and rage. I
know, and all who know me know, that the accusations are false,” Katsav said
before entering Ma’asiyahu Prison, surrounded by a group of people who arrived
to show their support for him.
“The conscience of those who committed
this injustice will certainly awaken and you will see that you buried a man
After entering the facility, Katsav underwent a series of
interviews by Prisons Service staff, a source from Ma’asiyahu Prison told The
Jerusalem Post. The talks were aimed at appraising his mental health, and
preparing him for his new life behind bars.
At 2 p.m., Katsav entered the
cell in the prison’s religious wing, and greeted his cellmate, former minister
Shlomo Benizri. Prisons Service staff hope Benizri will take Katsav under his
wing and enable a smooth acclimatization process.
“He will be monitored
by us, but he’ll receive the same treatment as every other prisoner,” a Prisons
Service source said.
Katsav is expected to wake up early on a daily basis
and take part in morning prayers with Benizri, before spending the day studying
Torah at a seminary located in the wing.
Should he immerse himself in
religious study and respond well to the wing, he will remain there for the
duration of his custody. If he shows signs of severe distress
, a prison
committee will likely transfer him elsewhere.