Court Extends Order Keeping Talansky in Israel

The Jerusalem District Court yesterday extended the stay of exit imposed on American businessman Morris Talansky, with his consent, until May 26 at 11 P.M.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his former office chief Shula Zaken asked to postpone Talansky's court deposition by two weeks, to June 8, to enable them to review the investigation material.

They argued that they had not received a large part of the material yet, including attorney Uri Messer's statements to the police, which Olmert and Zaken are to receive only after Olmert is questioned by investigators again on Friday.

The court will hear their request tomorrow morning.

Last night the police had to go to the home of Magistrate's Court Judge Mordechai Arad to ask for an extension on Talansky's stay of exit, after the District Court ruled that the State Prosecution's request had been filed to the wrong court.

Earlier yesterday, Talansky said he objected to extending his stay of exit from Israel. He asked the court to enable him to leave Israel and return to testify in June, if Olmert and Zaken's request to postpone his deposition is accepted.

He said in his request that he would be willing to guarantee his return to Israel with a lien on his Jerusalem home. The Diskin Street house is worth some $1.3 million, the request said.

State Prosecutor Moshe Lador rejected a similar request by Talansky's lawyer Jacques Chen earlier this week in the Supreme Court. The prosecution is interested in keeping Talansky in Israel until his deposition, fearing that otherwise he will not return to testify.

Talansky yesterday asked the court to take into consideration his cooperation with the police. "From the day he was first questioned, Talansky answered all the detectives' questions and gave his version. He made it clear that he had committed no felony and would be willing to subject himself to any further questioning in his case. Since then he has been questioned another four or five times, including today. Every time he answered all his interrogators' questions," the request said.