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Ehud Olmert at court
Photo: Gil Yochanan
Olmert trial draws to a close
Defense, Prosecution prepare to present closing arguments in former PM's fraud trial. Defense team: Talsnsky's testimony wholly flawed

The Prosecution and the Defense are gearing for closing arguments in former Prime Minister Ehud Olmet's fraud trial, also known as the Talansky case.

 

The final stages of the court case, in which Olmert and Shula Zaken, his former bureau chief, both face charges of fraud, breach of trust and fraudulently obtaining benefits from American businessman Morris Talansky, began on Tuesday. 

 

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"Talansky stopped backing up Olmert for political reasons," Olmert's legal team said. 

 

Attorney Navot Tel-Tzur argued that Talansky felt that Olmert was betraying him: "His willingness to raise money for Olmert was based on his ideological belief in him. He saw Olmert as a figure who could lead Israel on the right path," he told the Jerusalem District Court.

 

"The strongest piece of evidence proving that Olmert and Talansky cut all ties between them dates back to 2005, at which point the government promoted the disengagement plan lead by Olmert and Ariel Sharon. Furthermore, Olmert helped form Kadima, leaving the Likud. Talansky considered Olmert's actions to be a betrayal of his ideals of a greater Israel," Tel-Zur added.

 

Tel-Zur said that the three main arguments used against Olmert – Talansky's testimony, Uri Messer, a former confidant and business partner of Olmert's testimony and the illegal wiretapping held by Zaken are all lacking truth to them.

 

According to Olmert's legal team, "Talansky's streak of lies in the case raises questions. His testimony is full of holes, contradictions and conflicting evidence."

 

"Talansky's stay of exit order has given him reason to falsify the details in the case," Tel-Zur added.

 

 

 

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