Barak: Katsav could have kept mum on ceremony

Outgoing Supreme Court President Aharon Barak said Tuesday that President Moshe Katsav did not have to announce his intention to avoid swearing in Dorit Beinisch as the new Supreme Court president. Sources in the Supreme Court said that Barak was surprised by the president's move, since, the sources said, even if Katsav had decided to preside over the swearing-in ceremony, Barak would have participated in it, as would all the rest of the justices. Barak's reaction came after Katsav asked the Knesset House Committee on Monday to grant him a 16-hour leave of absence to avoid the ceremony, which he would have had to attend as part of his presidential duties.