Talansky cross-examination begins


Morris Talansky returned to an Israeli court to undergo cross-examination in the corruption case against Ehud Olmert.

Lawyers for the Israeli prime minister grilled Talansky, a Jewish-American businessman, in Jerusalem District Court on Thursday over graft allegations that surfaced in May.

In his preliminary deposition to prosecutors, Talansky had described giving Olmert more than $150,000 in cash handouts and unpaid loans in the 15 years before he became premier. Olmert has described the money as legitimate campaign contributions and his confidants have suggested Talansky is part of a smear campaign.

On the first of what was expected to be several days of cross-examination, Olmert’s lawyer, Eli Zohar, accused Talansky of discussing, and potentially coordinating, his testimony with state prosecutors.

According to court reporters, Talansky admitted that some details in his deposition may have been wrong but that the overall account was true. “I never gave a false answer,” he said in one response.

Israeli Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz is expected to decide whether to indict Olmert after Talansky has finished his court appearances. Olmert has pledged to resign if formally charged in the case.



Recommended from JTA