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Israel’s Former President Enters Prison on Rape Conviction

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav entered prison to serve a seven-year sentence after being convicted of rape and exhausting his appeals.

Katsav maintained his innocence in remarks to reporters today that were broadcast on Israel Radio. “You buried a man alive,” he said outside Maasiyahu prison south of Tel Aviv.

Katsav, 66, was found guilty a year ago of raping a female employee when he was tourism minister more than 10 years ago. He was also convicted of sexually harassing two other employees while he was president from 2000 to 2007. The Supreme Court rejected his appeal last month.

The former president will share a cell with former Labor Minister Shlomo Benizri in a section of the prison reserved for observant Jews, Israel Radio said, citing prison officials. Benizri was convicted in 2008 of taking bribes.

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