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Former Israeli President Katsav Starts Prison Term For Rape

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav (center) is surrounded by lawyers and relatives as he arrives at a district court for his sentencing in March.
Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav has begun serving a seven-year prison sentence for rape.

Katsav, 66, was convicted a year ago of raping a former female employee when he was a cabinet minister and of sexually assaulting two other women when he was president from 2000 to 2007.

On his way to a minimum security prison in central Israel on December 7, Katsav again protested his innocence and said Israel was today "burying a man alive."

Katsav was to have entered prison in May but remained free while he appealed his conviction. Israel's Supreme Court rejected his appeal last month.

compiled from agency reports