Israeli pop star Kobi Peretz began his 18-month sentence Sunday for tax evasion after he was convicted last March of concealing NIS 5.2 million [$1.5 million] in income as well as evading 830,000 NIS [$230,500] in taxes.
According to Behadrei Haredim, Peretz is housed in the special wing of Ramle's Ma'asiyahu prison that is reserved for religiously observant prisoners, including former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yona Metzger, who is serving his three-and-a-half year sentence following the rabbi’s conviction on corruption charges.
Rabbi Metzger was accused in 2005 of corruption, with allegations ranging from bribery, tax evasion, to obstruction of justice. The case was closed, however, in 2006 for lack of evidence. But in 2013, new claims of wrongdoing prompted the reopening of the investigation, culminating in the arrest of Rabbi Metzger in November 2013.
Ma'asiyahu's 'religious wing' has special arrangments making it compatible for observant prisoners. Unlike other prisons, television is strictly forbidden, only religious prisoners are admitted, and the jail boasts a large study hall stocked with Jewish books.
Ma'asiyahu Prison has had a whole slew of famous inmates over the years, such as former President Moshe Katzav, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, and former Health Minister Shlomo Benizri, and former MK Omri Sharon.