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Katsav told the press that he shook Khatami's hand and spoke to him in Persian. He was the first President of Israel to have been sworn in for a seven-year term as well as the first candidate from the right wing Likud party to be elected to the office. On 8 April 2005 the alphabetic ordering of leaders during the funeral of Pope John Paul II resulted in Katsav sitting near Iranian President Mohammad Khatami who like Katsav was born in the Iranian city of Yazd.
On 7 December 2011 Katsav arrived at Maasiyahu Prison in Ramla to begin serving his seven-year sentence. On 22 March 2011 in a landmark ruling Katsav was sentenced to seven years in prison. He served as the eighth President of Israel a leading Likud member of the Israeli Knesset and a minister in its cabinet.