Olmert: Talansky's testimony is make-believe, nonsense

Ex-prime minister denies he took cash donations from US philanthropist, responding to allegations he stashed the money in his safe.

Ehud Olmert 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ehud Olmert 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Thursday denied he took cash donations from American philanthropist Morris Talansky.
Olmert made the denial during his testimony in court regarding the "Talansky Affair," in which the former prime minister allegedly received cash contributions from Talansky and stashed them in his safe without declaring them to the Tax Authority.
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"This never happened. This is a totally baseless claim," Olmert said. "Talansky is saying things that are make-believe, they are nonsense."
Olmert described his relationship with Talansky, saying "We had a personal relationship. I was grateful to him. He has charm, he is communicative, a social man, he knows how to make contacts, how to talk, how to show appreciation. There was a certain chemistry."
In his own testimony in court last week, Talansky confirmed to police that he transferred $30,000 to Olmert’s brother, Yossi, in November 2004.
The connection between Talansky and Yossi Olmert emerged indirectly when sources close to Olmert revealed the transcript of a police interrogation of Talansky that took place on May 24.
After the interrogators presented him with a copy of the bank transfer, Talansky said, “I see the document. I don’t remember this transfer. Olmert must have given me the money to transfer or something...I had no business giving Yossi Olmert $30,000.”
Ron Friedman contributed to this report.