Talanksy fails to show up for unrelated Long Island court appearance

A key figure in the investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Morris Talansky, failed to show up for a court hearing on misdemeanor assault charges stemming from a dispute over a dentist's bill. Talansky's lawyer told a judge that his client was in Israel, aiding prosecutors looking into allegations the prime minister took envelopes stuffed with cash from Talansky over a decade and a half. Talansky, who has a home on Long Island, is facing charges that he scuffled with his longtime dentist after getting into an argument over his bill. The dentist also claims the 75-year-old Talansky left threatening telephone messages. Judge William O'Brien said if Talansky misses his next court date in July, he will sign a warrant for his arrest.