Court OKs Talansky deposition

Israel’s Supreme Court will allow prosecutors to depose the U.S. businessman at the heart of a scandal involving Ehud Olmert.

On Tuesday the court rejected an appeal filed by the Israeli prime minister and his longtime confidante, Shula Zaken, against the State Attorney’s Office’s plan to gather testimony from Morris Talansky. The Long Island, N.Y., businessman was detained by Israeli authorities while on a Passover visit.

Olmert and Zaken had argued that the unusual move, ahead of any criminal proceedings against Olmert, was unwarranted. But prosecutors said Talansky, a former fund-raiser for Israeli elections in which Olmert ran before he became prime minister, could refuse to return to the country.

Olmert has admitted taking money from Talansky but denied it constitued a bribe. He has vowed to step down if indicted.

Talansky is due to be deposed next Sunday. Olmert, who was first questioned by police in the case on May 9, could undergo another interrogation on Friday.

 

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