Former President Moshe Katsav is now inmate number 1418989 – Katsav,
who reported to Maasiyahu Prison on Wednesday to begin serving his seven-year sentence, was not placed on suicide
Katsav was convicted
of two counts of rape, sexual harassment and obstruction of justice.
Katsav's processing was routine: He met with the prison social worker, the facility's doctor and the officer in charge of his cellblock. Prison authorities have ruled that he is not a danger to himself and that there is no need to place him on suicide watch.
The decision means that the cameras in Katsav's cell in the prison's religious cellblock will not be turned on at this time.
Katsav was placed in the same cell as Shlomo Benizri, a former Shas minister who was convicted of bribery charges.
Katsav, who maintained his innocence even when walking through the prison gates, spoke to reporters outside his home Wednesday morning, shortly before heading to Maasiyahu.
The disgraced president claimed that documents that had been filed as part of his appeal – which was denied – contained proof of his innocence.
"One day you will understand that you buried a man alive. One day the truth will be revealed. That day will come. I don't know when – it will happen with our without me," he said, adding that by sending him to prison the State was "executing" him "based on impressions – without testimonies or evidence."
In an interview with AP, Katsav insisted he has been faithful to his wife, and argued that Israel's
legal system was wrong in accepting the word of a former employee over his.
"It is a surreal situation that hasn't happened in any democratic country in the world," Katsav said in a telephone interview.
"They are sending an innocent man to jail, period."