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Ehud Olmert’s ‘Talansky Affair’ Re-Opens in Jerusalem District Court

Former Olmert aide Shuka Zaken has turned state's witness and will testify for the prosecution.
Former PM Ehud Olmert at Tel Aviv District Court hears his sentence on May 13, 2014. (archive)

Former PM Ehud Olmert at Tel Aviv District Court hears his sentence on May 13, 2014. (archive)
Photo Credit: Yotam Ronen / POOL / Flash 90

The corruption trial of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — this one relating to wads of cash from Long Island businessman and philanthropist Rabbi Morris “Moshe” Talansky — has reopened in Jerusalem District Court.

Talansky founded The New Jerusalem Fund together with Olmert. He told the Jerusalem District Court in past testimony that over a period of 13 years he gave the former prime minister about $150,000, most of it in cash, earmarked for campaign and personal expenses. Some was intended as a loan, some not.

The court was set to hear testimony from former Olmert aide Shula Zaken, who has turned state’s witness, as well as from Olmert in defense of himself.

The Israeli leader was convicted of breach of trust in the Holyland Complex affair in 2012 and given a suspended sentence of one year in prison and a fine of NIS 75,000 ($21,000). This year he was convicted of lying to the court in testimony about the case, and was convicted again on one count of breach of trust in the same case.

Olmert was sentenced on May 13, 2014, to six years in prison and fined NIS 1.5 million ($430,000), and was to begin serving his sentence yesterday, September 1.

He was acquitted in the Rishon Tours and Talansky affairs, but due to new evidence the Talansky affair was also re-opened today.

All three cases span Olmert’s tenures as mayor of Jerusalem, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Finance Minister and finally as Prime Minister – a period from 1993 to 2009.

About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.


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