Israel’s prosecutor rejects Talansky requests


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s state prosecutor has rejected a request by American businessman Morris Talansky to testify in a closed courtroom.

Lawyers for Talansky, the key witness in a fraud investigation against Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, had requested that Talansky’s testimony resume in Israel behind closed doors and under a gag order.

The prosecutor’s office did agree to consider holding parts of the hearing behind closed door and to place some material under a gag order.

Olmert is accused of accepting envelops full of cash from Talansky in the amount of about $150,000 over the course of more than a decade.

Talansky last appeared in Jerusalem District Court in July. He is scheduled to return to Israel to continue his testimony in the next few weeks, according to reports.

The United States last month granted Talansky, who is being investigated there for alleged money laundering and tax fraud, partial immunity from his testimony in Israel.

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