Former prime minister Ehud Olmert with lawyer in court 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Deputy State Attorney Uri Korb began his cross-examination of former prime
minister Ehud Olmert on Monday in the Jerusalem District Court.
stage of the trial, Olmert is required to answer questions on excerpts from his
interrogation, testimonies by other witnesses and on documents indicating his
alleged involvement in the various corruption affairs to which he is
Olmert: I never met Talansky on day of alleged bribe
Olmert testifies over Talansky cash transfers
During Monday’s crossexamination, Korb said Olmert knew American
businessman Moshe Talansky had donated $300,000 to cover the debt of the group
that supported his campaign to become Jerusalem’s mayor in 1998 and was headed
by Olmert’s former campaign manager Uri Messer.
In his earlier testimony,
Olmert denied asking Messer to solicit funds from Talansky to pay a NIS 2
million debt the campaign accumulated.
Olmert said on Monday that he only
knew the money was paid by a client of Messer’s around 2002, long after the
Jerusalem municipal elections took place.
However, Korb read to Olmert
excerpts from Messer’s testimony, which said, “the fact that Talansky was the
person who had given the loan was known. Our debate had been the question of who
should pay it back.”
Olmert called Korb’s line of questioning “a ploy,”
adding that “nobody will succeed in causing a rift between myself and
Amir Dan, Olmert’s spokesman, later slammed the state’s
questioning, saying that the prosecution is not interested in the real
“Today the prosecution asked Olmert the same question hundreds
of times and they got the same answer repeatedly,” Dan told The Jerusalem
“There are accusations and facts. They can keep asking the same
questions and getting the same answers. All I can say is it’s a pity these
accusations were filed in the court in the first place.”
After the court
hearings this week and next week, Olmert’s cross-examination will resume in
September following the court’s August recess.
Over a series of 13
sessions that continued until last week, Olmert has had the opportunity to give
his primary testimony, telling his version of the charges, guided by his
During his initial questioning in court, Olmert denied
allegations that he received cash envelopes from Talansky which he attempted to
hide, as well as allegations that he double- billed his trips abroad during his
About the Talansky affair, he said last month, “This
whole story about loans is a fantasy for which I have no
Regarding the Rishon Tours double-billing affair, Olmert
also testified, “I never knew that there were excesses of flight funds. I never
instructed my staff to do anything of the sort that is described. The
prosecution created a monster so they could charge me.”