Moshe Katsav - Alon Ron - 7.12.2011
Moshe Katsav entering prison, Dec. 7, 2011. Photo by Alon Ron
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Former President Moshe Katsav began a seven-year prison sentence on Wednesday, following his conviction of two counts of rape and other sexual offenses.

The former president was accompanied by family members, entering the Ma'asiyahu facility at 10:08 A.M.

Prior to arriving at the central-Israel prison, Katsav addressed media representatives outside his Kirayt Malakhi home, where he 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.

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

He was convicted 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.

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.