Katsav Press conf 298 88.
(photo credit: )
President Moshe Katsav never intended to keep living at Beit Hanassi after suspending himself from office, Katsav adviser Ronen Tsur told Israel Radio on Wednesday morning.
Tsur said that Katsav had only returned to the presidential residence to collect his belongings, and that "if anyone had bothered to ask," they would have known it.
Tsur spoke in response to a letter sent Tuesday evening by Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz informing the Knesset that the president could not legally stay in the residence so long as his suspension remained in effect.
Katsav's attorneys reacted with anger, saying he was being intentionally humiliated by Mazuz, who said last week that he planned to charge Katsav with a series of crimes stemming from his treatment of female subordinates.
"A man lives there for 6 1/2 years, his toothpaste is there, his toothbrush. So you must display a certain sensitivity, a certain culture. I think that this behavior, a kind of expulsion of the evil in our midst, of this evil demon, it looks bad, it sounds bad," Zion Amir, one of Katsav's lawyers, told Army Radio.
According to his lawyers, Katsav has not lived in the president's residence since the Knesset granted his request for a three-month suspension, but only returned there to organize and pack.
Prior to leaving Beit Hanassi for his Kiryat Malachi home on Tuesday evening, Katsav met with senior aides to express appreciation for their steadfastness during a difficult period.
Beit Hanassi director-general Moshe Goral also briefed the president's senior aides, updated them on various aspects of Katsav's suspension, and asked them to continue performing their duties.
AP contributed to this report.
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