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New Legal Woes for the Sharon Family

The sons of former PM Ariel Sharon may be put on trial over allegations of involvement in bribery.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/1/2011, 6:27 PM / Last Update: 2/1/2011, 7:01 PM

Flash 90

Omri and Gilad Sharon, the sons of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, should be put on trial over an alleged bribe, police said Tuesday. Investigators say they have found evidence in the case.

The charges stem from an incident in 2001, during the Likud primary elections. Ariel Sharon allegedly received a campaign contribution far in excess of the limit from Cyril Kern and Martin Schlaff. Omri and Gilad are accused of helping their father to take the money.

Police say the two brothers received money from Kern, who was acting on behalf of Schlaff, and transferred it to their father.

While police said Sunday that investigators have found evidence against the two, they warned that the investigation remains incomplete. Police cannot gather all the necessary evidence due to the fact that two of the main suspects in the case – Kern and Schlaff – are not Israeli citizens, they said.

Omri Sharon previously served time in prison for receiving illegal contributions for his father's Likud campaign in 1999.

Gilad Sharon recently joined the Kadima party.

Sharon's critics have accused the former Prime Minister of planning the 2005 “Disengagement” from Gaza and northern Samaria in order to draw attention away from allegations against himself and his sons. Prior to the Disengagement then-MK Tzvi Hendel coined the phrase, “The bigger the investigation, the bigger the withdrawal” - a phrase later used to criticize Sharon's successor, Ehud Olmert, as well.