Friedmann: Probe leaks out of control

In fifth day of Talanksy cross-examination, lawyers clash with NY financier over meeting with PM's son.

talansky court 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
talansky court 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
During the fifth day of the cross-examination of US financier Morris Talansky, the witness clashed with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's lawyer Eli Zohar over a meeting Talansky had with Olmert's son Shaul in New York. In earlier court testimonies Talansky said that he had asked the prime minister to repay loans that he had given him. The loans, he said, included one of $15,000 one of $25,000 and one of almost $5,000. Olmert told Talansky to meet with his son Shaul, who was living in New York at the time, saying and that he would arrange to repay Talansky, according to Talansky. In his testimony Talansky said he had met with Shaul Olmert and asked him for the money. Olmert, Talansky said, replied that he would speak to his father about it but never got back to him. At that point Zohar presented Talansky with the police testimony of Shaul Olmert, in which he had claimed that his father had never raised the issue of the loans with him. Instead, Olmert said, Talansky had wished to obtain information from him on how best to market interactive television at hotels. Talansky strongly denied Olmert's claim, saying that the prime minister's son was a simple illustrator - not an executive - and thus knew nothing about the technology. "All I knew was that he drew funny pictures," Talansky said. When Zohar pointed out that Olmert was a vice president of MTV in charge of development of computer games, Talansky brushed it off, saying there were 50 vice presidents at MTV. Talansky also claimed that he did not speak to Olmert about marketing his mini-bars because he knew that the product had failed. Zohar then asked him to explain why at around the same time that he met Olmert he tried to persuade Sheldon Adelson to introduce the mini-bars into his hotels. Talansky replied that he had opposed the initiative and had hoped that by the time Adelson's hotels were built the mini-bar would be perfected. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann said Tuesday that the leaks from Olmert's investigation were "out of control." Police on Monday said they were weighing whether to launch an investigation to track down the mysterious source (or sources) leaking information from the probe, but said that such an inquiry was "not something which is on the horizon."