Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert has admitted accepting cash from a US businessman, but says he never took a penny for himself. He says the money donated by New York financier Morris Talansky was legitimate funding for election campaigns.
In a brief address last night, he said he had never taken bribes. Even though it was not required by law, he said he would resign if formally charged. Police lifted the media gag on the story once Independence Day celebrations were drawing to a close.
Talansky refused to comment on the allegations. He remained tight-lipped. The police investigation concerns a period from 1998 when Olmert was running for re-election as mayor of Jerusalem up to 2006 when he became prime minister.
Public pressure on Olmert to resign is continuing to build. One Jerusalem resident interviewed said he was not happy about the situation, and Olmert should resign.
Another local man agreed, saying there were too many corruption issues surrounding Olmert. “It sounds like he doesn’t know how to behave correctly, or how to run this state correctly.”
Judicial sources say the sums of money involved in the case total hundreds of thousands of dollars.