Talansky set for NY assault case trial

Key witness in PM corruption probe faces up to a year in prison if convicted of attacking his dentist.

Talansky hold it 224.8 (photo credit: AP )
Talansky hold it 224.8
(photo credit: AP )
Morris Talansky, the American financier embroiled in one of the corruption probes into outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, was ordered Monday to stand trial on misdemeanor assault charges in New York. The Long Island mogul faces up to a year in prison if convicted of attacking his longtime dentist, Leonard Barashick, during a payment dispute, according to Nassau district attorney's office spokesman Eric Phillips. Barashick claims Talansky slammed a heavy chair at his shins and threw him against a wall after he demanded money for six dental crowns. Talansky's trial was scheduled for Nov. 24 and will be heard by a supervising judge, not a jury, Talansky's lawyer Anthony Colleluori told The Jerusalem Post. The assault case is unrelated to the investigation into allegations that Olmert accepted illicit contributions during his stint as Jerusalem mayor and as industry, trade and labor minister. Israeli authorities are reportedly seeking immunity for Talansky, a key witness for the state, against any US prosecution in that case. He has been questioned about financial transfers to Israel totaling approximately $300,000, which were allegedly used to cover Olmert's campaign debts, as well as cash gifts worth as much as $150,000. Talansky's lawyer in that case, Neal Sher, did not immediately respond to an e-mail request sent by the Post seeking comment.