PM's Lawyers Question Talansky

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's legal team continued its cross examination of American financer Morris Talansky Friday.

When Thursday's session ended without discrediting the prosecution's key witness, one of the attorneys, Nevot Tel-Tzur, concluded that the Israel police made a deal with Talansky.

"He is maintaining a secret relationship with the prosecution," he said.

Eli Zohar, another member of Olmert's legal team, made the same accusation in the cross examination.

"I tell you a deal was done with you," Zohar said. "It is not formal, but you know that nothing will be used against you," he said.

Meanwhile, Olmert's media advisor, Amir Dan, said the cross examination would clear the prime minister.

"Today the cracks in the police and state prosecutors' allegations will be revealed, Dan told Army Radio.

"The Israeli public will discover they are trying to take down a serving prime minister on unfounded charges," he said.

At the end of the first day's cross examination, Talansky stood by his earlier testimony.

"I may have been wrong about a certain date or sum," the 75-year-old businessman told the court, but every incident I described had taken place," he said.

This corruption case, which involves $150,000 in cash that Talansky gave Olmert over a 10-year period, is the fifth such case opened against the prime minister in recent years.

Talanksy also extended two personal loans of $19,000 each to Olmert, which were never paid back.

Police are continuing to investigate a $200,000 transfer to Olmert's former lawyer and business partner, Uri Messer, in 1999.

A week ago, police questioned the prime minister on new information of double- and triple-billing of public associations for trips abroad, with the surplus pocketed for private use.

Sources: Haaretz, YNet news

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