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      Omri Sharon: Seven Months in Prison

      Ariel Sharon's son and Disengagement-facilitator Omri Sharon will enter prison next month for a seven-month term for election crimes.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 6/25/2007, 1:49 PM

      Ariel Sharon's son and Disengagement-facilitator Omri Sharon will enter prison next month for a seven-month term for election crimes.

      Omri Sharon, the older son of comatose former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, has had his nine-month sentence reduced but not revoked. He was convicted a year ago of having violated campaign finance laws by receiving illegal contributions and lying under oath. Much evidence, including documents, affidavits, recorded testimony and admissions, was amassed showing that Omri activated fictitious associations to help his father beat Ehud Olmert in the Likud primaries of 1999.

      His appeal for clemency was partially granted today, and he will serve only seven months instead of nine.

      The three justices of the Tel Aviv District Court were divided on whether to lighten Sharon's sentence. Two judges felt that Sharon's crimes were an example of personal corruption that "distorted the will of the voter," and that the sentence should not be less than seven months in prison. A third judge said that Sharon should be recognized favorably for having quit the Knesset and being the first to be convicted of such crimes, and that therefore his sentence should be commuted to public service.

      The 300,000-shekel fine levied upon the former Prime Minister's son remains in effect.

      Omri Sharon is scheduled to enter prison only next month, to afford him time to appeal one last time to the Supreme Court. A Likud Knesset Member in the previous Knesset, he is known to have had a major role in pushing the Disengagement/expulsion plan and having it passed in the legislature.