Katsav Ahead of Prison Sentence: Today Israel Is Executing an Innocent Man

Former President struggles to speak as mass of supporters blocks vicinity of Kiryat Malakhi home; Katsav: Foundation of my acquittal awaits in my appeal papers.

What's worse than a president entering jail is an innocent president entering jail, former President Moshe Katsav said on Wednesday, on his way to beginning a seven-year prison sentence after he was convicted for two counts of rape.

Katsav arrived at Ma'asiyahu prison at 10:00 A.M. later in the day, and entered the facility a few minutes later, accompanied by family members.

Moshe Katsav - AFP - 7.12.2011

Addressing the media prior to his departure to prison, Katsav accused the court of wrongly convicting him, saying that in Israel "a man is executed today without proof or evidence."

"A man is executed today because the court chose not to believe 20 real-time witnesses, instead taking the word of 20 witnesses speaking after the fact," the former president said, adding: "One day you'll see that you have buried a man alive."

"Proof for my future acquittal already awaits within my appeal documents," Katsav added.

Katsav struggled to reach the spot of his impromptu media conference after masses of supporters, police, and media representatives amassed outside the Kiryat Malakhi home.

Katsav was convicted in March of raping a former female employee when he was a Cabinet minister, and sexually harassing two others when he was president between 2000 and 2007.

After Israel’s Supreme Court decided on November 10 to reject his appeal, Katzav became the first Israeli president in history to receive a prison sentence for any crime.

Katzav will initially be held in a cell for inmates who are thought to be at risk of suicide.The cell is under the closer surveillance of his guards and is equipped with two security cameras. The doors to his lavatory and shower are translucent so they don't obstruct the view of the ex-president..

Read this article in Hebrew: נשיא בדרך למעשיהו || קצב לפני כניסתו לכלא: היום מוציאים אדם להורג. מעולם לא פגעתי באיש