July 30, 2008
Talansky Suit Against Israeli Satellite Firm Dismissed in NY
By YAAKOV KATZ
New York financier Morris Talansky may soon find himself involved in a second Israeli legal process, this time not concerning cash envelopes he allegedly gave Prime Minister Ehud Olmert but on a completely different issue - spy satellites.
Talansky was one of several plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Imagesat International satellite company that was thrown out of a New York court last Thursday on the grounds that it was not the correct venue to discuss the matter. It now appears that Talansky and the other stakeholders may need to file their suit in Israel.
Imagesat - a private company owned by Israel Aerospace Industries, Elbit Systems Ltd and several businessmen, including Talansky - owns a number of Eros-series satellites that it rents out to countries around the world. ImageSat was founded in 2000 as a joint venture of IAI and a group of private investors.
IAI owns 42 percent of the company and Elbit Systems holds 12%.
"Should the plaintiffs decide to continue to pursue the claim they will need to either appeal the decision to the US appellate court or attempt to file a claim before an Israeli court," Elbit said in a statement.
In the lawsuit, Talansky and the other plaintiffs claimed that Imagesat had reneged on a lucrative deal with Venezuela due to diplomatic considerations between Israel and the United States. The plaintiffs claimed that the company was set up with the condition that it would operate independently of Israeli diplomatic interests.
The Eros B satellite was launched in April 2006 and can spot images on the ground as small as 70 centimeters. It was launched from a mobile launch-pad at the Svobodny cosmodrome in Siberia. It is a lightweight commercial satellite (290 kg.), ensuring maximum agility and stability for optimum imaging quality. Similar to Eros A, the Eros B satellite is expected to provide service for eight to 10 years.
Originally published by YAAKOV KATZ.
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