JERUSALEM (JTA) — American businessman Morris Talansky has been offered partial immunity from the U.S Justice Department for his testimony in a corruption probe of Ehud Olmert.
The offer, communicated Sunday to Talansky through his Israeli attorneys, states that any testimony he gives in an Israeli courtroom cannot be used as direct evidence against him in the United States. But the Justice Department can use the testimony to pursue other leads in an investigation against Talansky.
Talansky is the key witness in an investigation against Israel’s prime minister for allegedly accepting illegal funds in cash to pay for political campaigns and travel. Olmert’s official resignation in September led to the national elections that will be held Feb. 10. Olmert remains in his post until a new prime minister is sworn in.
Talansky testified that he gave Olmert $150,000 in cash in envelopes delivered by third parties and did not receive anything in return.
Talansky last appeared in an Israeli courtroom seven months ago. Israel’s Justice Ministry has asked Talansky’s attorneys to set a date for his return to Israel to complete his testimony.