Cops check cash withdrawals in PM case

Official: Police must prove money taken out, amounts need to be consistent with Talansky's testimony.

Talansky enters court 22 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Talansky enters court 22
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Israeli Police investigators from the National Fraud Unit who are in the US to investigate the Talansky case are seeking to gather "empirical evidence" of cash withdrawals and transfers of funds made on behalf of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a senior former law enforcement official said. The detectives "need to receive evidence of money withdrawals" in order to present state prosecutors with a case in court, the source said. During his court appearance last week, Morris Talansky, the central witness in the police investigation against Olmert, said he passed $150,000 dollars in cash from his own money to Olmert, as well as large amounts of cash from other, unidentified American donors over a period of years. "The police need to prove the cash was withdrawn, and the amounts need to be synchronized with Talansky's testimony," the official said. "The prosecution can't go to court with only a testimony. Evidence of that cash exists in bank accounts, and that needs to be documented and submitted to court," he added. While in the US, police will likely search for "additional high-profile donors to Olmert," the source said. The official also speculated that records kept by Shula Zaken, Olmert's former bureau chief as well Olmert's close associate and former legal partner, Uri Messer, will bring other donor's names into the investigation. In recent days, a number of media leaks, allegedly made by Olmert's lawyers, carried reports of supposed contradictions in Talansky's Testimony. In addition, a transcript of Olmert berating his police interrogators during a questioning session found its way into the media. "If this is the best Olmert's lawyers have, then the police can rest assured that they have a good case. They have run out of ammunition in their attempt to undermine Talansky," the source said.