Israeli PM has expensive habits

GIL YOHANAN/AFP/Getty Images Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been tackling a whole set of challenges of late, from opening talks with Syria to pursuing a peace settlement with the Palestinians. His biggest challenge, however, may be in the Israeli courts. Long Island millionaire Morris Talansky (left) alleged today that he gave Olmert at least $150,000, ...

594880_080527_talansky2.jpg
594880_080527_talansky2.jpg

GIL YOHANAN/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been tackling a whole set of challenges of late, from opening talks with Syria to pursuing a peace settlement with the Palestinians. His biggest challenge, however, may be in the Israeli courts. Long Island millionaire Morris Talansky (left) alleged today that he gave Olmert at least $150,000, mostly in cash, over the past 13 years.

Talanksy -- who denied receiving anything in return for these contributions -- had some interesting thoughts on where his money may have gone:

GIL YOHANAN/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been tackling a whole set of challenges of late, from opening talks with Syria to pursuing a peace settlement with the Palestinians. His biggest challenge, however, may be in the Israeli courts. Long Island millionaire Morris Talansky (left) alleged today that he gave Olmert at least $150,000, mostly in cash, over the past 13 years.

Talanksy — who denied receiving anything in return for these contributions — had some interesting thoughts on where his money may have gone:

I only know that he loved expensive cigars,” Mr. Talansky told the court. “I know he loved pens, watches. I found it strange.”

The testimony is part of a larger political corruption investigation, with some claiming that Olmert has taken $500,000 in illegal campaign contributions or outright bribes. Brooklyn assemblyman Dov Hikind, once a friend of the prime minister, said he saw Olmert receive an envelope full of cash at a fundraiser while the latter was mayor of Jerusalem.

On the bright side, should these charges prove to be false, Olmert will have a collection of fine cigars to celebrate his acquittal.

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