I Took Cash, No Bribes: Olmert

Vows to resign if indicted
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2008 7:29 AM CDT
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert responding to accusations he illegally accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from a U.S. businessman.    (AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
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(Newser) – Ehud Olmert resisted calls for his resignation today, after admitting on national TV last night that he accepted contributions from a New York businessman—but denying that any of it was a bribe. Olmert, under criminal investigation for allegedly taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from Long Island millionaire Morris Talansky while he was mayor of Jerusalem and minister of industry, vowed to resign if indicted.

"I am looking in the eyes of each and every one of you and saying I never took a bribe," Olmert said of the scandal that cast a pall on Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations this week. "I never put a cent in my pocket." Olmert's chief of staff was placed under house arrest yesterday. Talansky, currently vacationing in Israel with his family, has admitted acting as a middleman for illegal campaign contributions to Olmert.