The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court sentences Omri Sharon

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

On February 14, 2006, the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court sentenced Omri Sharon, son of the comatosed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to a nine month prison term, a nine month suspended sentence, and a 300,000 Shekel (USD 63,500) fine. Omri's lawyers have already stated they will appeal a "exceptionally harsh verdict". Ariel Sharon has not been charged so far.

Judge Beckenstein decided to delay his prison sentence six months due to the current health of his father. Beckenstein was quoted as saying: "This is a swamp of political corruption and it must be dried up." In addition Gavriel Manor, an accomplice of Omri, was sentenced to a nine month suspended sentence for his involvement.

Omri was indicted on August 28, 2005 over a fundraising scandal relating to his father's 1999 election. At the time Omri was exempt from prosecution due to parliamentary immunity but decided to stand trial.

According to Israeli prosecutors Omri received over $1,300,000 in contributions and donations from Israeli and other companies between July 1999 and February 2000. This violated the amount allowed by party finance laws. He was then charged of investing the funds into a corporation called Annex Research.

On November 14 Omri Sharon plead guilty in a plea bargain with prosecutors. He later resigned from the Israeli Knesset on January 3.