Former President Moshe Katsav, who began serving a seven-year sentence last week after being convicted of rape and other charges, spent his first weekend in jail in the wing for religious inmates at Ma'asiyahu prison in Ramle.

He spent much of the time at Sabbath prayer services. Those who saw him over the weekend reported that on the whole, his condition was satisfactory, although he had suffered the same shock all convicts experience on initially entering prison.

Contrary to reports over the weekend, the prison service said Katsav had not insisted on returning his prison uniform and a visit by his family had not been canceled.

Sources close to Katsav had claimed a family visitation had been withdrawn because the former president had refused to wear a prison uniform during the visit and had asked that his family members not be allowed in if he had to wear prison garb.

The Israel Prison Service said it was unaware of such an incident, although members of Katsav's family in fact did not visit.