Ami Popper, who is serving multiple life sentences for murdering seven Arab workers in 1990, has been transferred from the Maasiyahu Prison after he had repeatedly harassed former President Moshe Katsav, who is serving a seven-year sentence for rape.
The Israel Prison Service (IPS) has decided to transfer Popper to Ayalon Prison, although Katsav refused to file a complaint against him.
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Tensions at Maasiyahu Prison's religious cell block reached new heights recently after Popper harassed Katsav. "He says nasty things to (Katsav) and sends people to harass him," said a source who is involved in the affair.
The two were recently engaged in a heated argument during which Popper demanded that Katsav leave the table during a meal. According to the source, "the argument ended only after IPS officers intervened."
Popper has been harassing Katsav because during his term the former president denied the killer's request for a presidential pardon.
Popper used to share a cell with former Shas minister Shlomo Benizri, but after Katsav began serving his sentence in December of last year Popper was transferred to another cell, while the former president took his place.
While on furlough a few months ago, Popper met with Katsav's brother Lior. The IPS decided to punish Popper and transfer him to another prison, but he eventually remained at Maasiyahu after filing an appeal.
In the past, an IPS official warned that "the two have to be separated. It may end in disaster. The tension between Popper and Katsav is a ticking bomb."
Popper's attorney said his client has denied all the "false rumors," adding that "Katsav's cell is monitored all day long, and this will substantiate my client's claims. His transfer to another prison apparently stemmed from other considerations."