A 'relieved' Talansky heads for NY

Prays at Western Wall before leaving Israel; lawyer: He certainly plans to return for cross-examination.

Talansky enters court 22 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Talansky enters court 22
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
After a grueling stay in Israel, Morris Talansky "is relieved" to be flying back to Woodmere, New York, to be with his wife, his lawyer, Jack Chen, said on Wednesday. "At 16:00, Mr. Talansky took off for the United States. He's very happy he can return home and be at his wife's side. He hasn't seen her in a long time," Chen said. The lawyer added that his client encountered no difficulties in lifting the no-fly order that was keeping him in the country. "This was done in agreement [with the police]," Chen said. "Talansky knows this is not completely behind him, and he certainly plans to return for cross-examination in July," he added. On Tuesday, Talansky gave a preliminary testimony in Jerusalem District Court that lasted nearly eight hours, at the request of the state prosecution, who wanted to make sure his claim of providing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert with hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money, and that of unidentified donors, was on record, should police and prosecutors decide to indict the prime minister. Talansky's testimony put Olmert's position in jeopardy with its troubling descriptions of the prime minister's personal use of the funds provided by the New York business man, including for family holidays and expensive hotel suites, as well as Olmert's insistence on receiving the money in cash. Throughout his prolonged stay in Israel, packed with several long police interrogation sessions and media storms, the 75-year-old financier exhibited high levels of stress, occasionally losing his cool and lashing out at the police and journalists. He broke down in tears during Tuesday's testimony, telling the prosecution: "You ruined my family." Talansky is due back in Israel next month for a grandson's wedding, his attorney said. "Neither an investigation, nor a trial, press reports, nor any other form of discomfort will cause him [Talansky] to cut his ties to the country which he sees as his home, and to which he is linked with all of his soul," Chen said earlier. Before leaving the country, Talansky prayed at the Western Wall.