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US businessman tells Olmert inquiry of cash gifts

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US businessman tells Olmert inquiry of cash gifts


The US businessman at the centre of Ehud Olmert’s corruption case has testified that he did give the Israeli leaders sums of cash but expected nothing in return. Morris Talansky told the court in Jerusalm that he received no benefits from his relationship with Olmert.

Police are investigating claims Olmert took the equivalent of around 300,000 euros in cash from Talanksy. The Israeli leader says the funds were legal campaign contributions and both he and Talansky have denied any wrongdoing. Talansky is reported to have said he handed over sums of various sizes in Israel or during visits Olmert made to New York before becoming prime minister.

Olmert, who says he will resign if formally charged, has been questioned twice in recent weeks. It has raised doubts about his political survival at a time when he is leading peace talks with the Palestinians and indirect dialogue with Syria.

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