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Jewish American businessman Morris Talansky yesterday denied any illegal activities or wrongdoing regarding the latest corruption allegations surrounding Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

In an interview with Channel 10, Talansky said the money he had given Olmert before the prime minister's victory in the 2006 general elections was not "in any way illegal or wrong."

Talansky said he thought the money he raised was for Olmert's election campaign, adding that while he had not heard otherwise, he could not now verify how the prime minister had used the funds.

He heatedly denied trying to bribe Olmert and declared that he has no business interests in Israel or any intention to make money here. "It never crossed my mind," he said.

Talansky told Channel 10 that he was cooperating with the police. "I am not in any way hiding anything; they asked me the questions and I told them the entire truth .... I have absolutely nothing to cover or to hide." (Haaretz Staff)