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Olmert suspected of illicit ties to U.S. magnate

Ehud Olmert is suspected of illicit ties to an American Jewish financier, the New York Post reported.

Police questioned the Israeli prime minister last week on suspicion that he illegally received “hefty” payoffs from a Long Island mogul in the 1990s, the Post reported Tuesday. Olmert was Jerusalem mayor at the time of the alleged bribes.

According to the Post, the American – identified by the daily as millionaire financier Morris Talansky – has been in Israel since Passover and is likely to provide testimony that could implicate Olmert.

Olmert and other Israeli officials have not given details in the case, citing an unusually stringent, court-issued gag order.

But Israel’s Justice Ministry did confirm that it plans to depose a “foreigner” in connection with the allegations against Olmert, who has dismissed media reports that he could be forced to resign because of the case as “vicious rumors.”

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