The American businessman at the heart of Israel’s latest corruption scandal returned home.
Morris Talansky flew back to New York late Wednesday after being deposed by Israeli prosecutors in their alleged bribery case against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, his lawyer said. Talansky had been detained by police for questioning after coming to Israel for a Passover visit.
Talansky, who testified to giving Olmert some $150,000 in undocumented cash handouts in the 15 years before he became prime minister, is due back in Jerusalem District Court on July 17 to be cross-examined by the defense.
Justice Ministry sources said that nothing Talansky said in his deposition could be used against him in Israel, though the Internal Revenue Service may have questions about his movement of large sums of cash outside the United States.
There is little concern in Israel that Talansky may refuse to return, given his extensive family connections in Israel.