Justice Barak: I feared Katsav would kill himself

In an unprecedented interview with the Israel Bar newsletter, Justice Aharon Barak, former head of the Supreme Court, opened up on his friendship with President Moshe Katsav, who has been accused of rape. During the swearing-in of Eliezer Rivlin as deputy justice of the Supreme Court, Barak was spotted by journalists hugging Katsav amicably. Katsav's presence at the ceremony caused unease among many of those present, as two weeks earlier he was absent from the swearing-in of current Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch because of the investigation opened against him. Barak said in the interview that he and Katsav were close friends before the investigation and that he feared Katsav would be driven to "put a bullet in his head" because of the public humiliation the investigation had caused. Also in the interview, Barak flatly rejected suspicions that he used his power to bring people close to him to positions in the Supreme Court. "I never thought to bring people to the Supreme Court just because they were friends of mine. There are many screenings on each employee; I didn't personally know most of the people here before I arrived," Barak said.