Long Island Millionaire Morris Talansky finally testified to an Israeli Court today, saying that he gave hapless Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at least $150,000 much of it was used to sate his appetite for Luxury travel. Talansky said he also loaned Olmert $25,000 for him to take his family on a trip to Italy. You would think that the Prime Minister would have spent SOME money on that disgusting comb-over, but no, he preferred expensive watches and cigars.Nice to know that he is laying back with a good Cuban while bombs are falling down on Sedrot. Hopefully this crook will be indicted and out of office soon:
Talansky: I gave $150,000 to Olmert from my own pocketDan Izenberg and JPost.com staff , THE JERUSALEM POST May. 27, 2008…American-Jewish businessman Morris Talansky told the Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday that he gave Prime Minister Ehud Olmert $150,000 out of his own pocket, speculating that some of the money went to fund Olmert’s fondness for fine hotels, first-class flights and luxury goods. He told the court that most of the money he turned over at meetings in New York and Jerusalem was to cover Olmert’s political activities over a 15-year period. But he also said Olmert’s assistant, Shula Zaken, would often ask for cash to cover unidentified personal expenses. He specifically mentioned that he met the prime minister 10 times between 2002 and 2005, while Olmert was industry, trade and labor minister, and on each occasion, gave him envelopes of cash. Talansky stressed, however, that he did not do it for personal gain. “I had a very close relationship with him for over 16 years. The relationship was one of great admiration. I never expected anything from him and never received anything from him whatsoever,” said Talansky, testifying as a witness for the prosecution in the investigation into allegations that Olmert accepted illegal payments from the US financier. Talansky said that as well as the money he gave Olmert out of his own pocket, he also raised money for him on behalf of various organizations, saying that much of the money was raised in New York “parlor meetings,” where Olmert would address American donors who would then leave contributions on their chairs. Talansky said he wanted to help Olmert’s progress since his ideology regarding Israel and Zionism was in line with his own. “He was articulate, he was intelligent. I felt that he would be a leader that I would have hoped to be if I had the talent,” he said, adding that Olmert would warmly greet him during their meetings in Jerusalem. “We raised at least 100,000 dollars,” he continued. “We were not wealthy donors, there was nothing personal about it,” he said, adding that it was “for the good of Israel.” “It never crossed my mind that it was for my benefit, I didn’t need it and to get anything in return would have been blasphemy,” continued Talanksy, adding “I really loved the man.” Nonetheless, Talansky, 75, said there were no records of how that money was spent. “I only know that he loved expensive cigars. I know he loved pens, watches. I found it strange,” Talansky told the court, then shrugged. The New York financier said he met the prime minister for the first time on a family visit to Israel around the time of the First Gulf War, in 1991. Talansky said Olmert asked him then for financial assistance, in cash, for campaign funding for the Jerusalem mayoral elections. Talansky said Olmert preferred cash over checks for reasons connected to Likud fund-raising regulations. “I didn’t really grasp it. I didn’t really work out how the system works over all,” he said. He said that in 2002, Olmert was low on his party list and so he wanted to further help him financially. Talasky went on to say that in on October 2005, he paid for Olmert’s tab for a three-day stay at a Washington hotel. He told the court that Olmert asked him for $5,000 and he duly complied, pulling out his credit card and paying the tab. The businessman stressed that this money was a loan, saying that he believes Olmert was on a private visit to the US to attend an art exhibition put on by the prime minister’s wife Aliza. On another occasion, Talansky said he gave Olmert $15,000 cash, again as a loan, in two envelopes while he was staying at a New York hotel for his grandson’s brit. Talansky said Olmert told him he needed the money for expenses. The financier went on to say that another time, while in the US to deliver a lecture, Olmert asked Talansky for $3,000 cash for expenses. Talansky said he raised the cash and gave it to the prime minister. Talansky said he also helped Olmert with his expenses at another event arranged by the Jewish community and attended by former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. On another occasion he said Olmert asked for a $25,000 loan for a family vacation to Italy, a request Talansky agreed to. Notably. Talanksy said Olmert never paid back the loans. He recounted that he once asked for some of the money back. He said Olmert told him to go and speak to his son in New York, but that a payback never materialized.
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