Analysis: Hardly a dent

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's lawyers tried desperately to discredit Morris Talansky as a credible witness but hardly made a dent in the testimony that the prosecution's key witness gave on May 27. Eli Zohar, head of Olmert's battery of lawyers, tried to show that Talansky's memory was poor, that he gave answers to please his interrogators, that he fabricated answers, was mad at Olmert and that he made an unspoken deal with the state to say whatever it wanted in return for not being a suspect himself. He also tried to demonstrate that Talansky was violent, a dirty businessman and a liar. In the end, Zohar had little, if anything, to show for his efforts. Thursday's cross-examination of Talansky was more like a wild spree in which the lawyer fired as many bullets as he could into the air, hoping that some of them would hit something, rather than coolly and deliberately taking aim at a clear and well-defined target. Talansky emerged pretty much unscathed at the end of the first day of his five-day cross-examination.