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Former justice minister Haim Ramon on Sunday arrived at the Tel Mond horse ranch where he will perform 120 hours of community service, following his conviction in January for kissing a female soldier against her will.

Sunday was the first day of Ramon's community service, which he will be performing every day in the coming weeks.

The farm in which Ramon is serving his sentence treats children and adults who suffer from mental retardation.

Last month the court exonerated Ramon of moral turpitude, thereby making it possible for him to return to the post of minister after serving out his sentence.

Ramon, who is closely tied to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, is considered a leading candidate to replace Finance Minister Abraham Hirchson, who is likely to resign soon after a police investigation against him.