Austrian Prosecutor ?Almost Certain? Sharon Took Bribe

A senior Austrian prosecutor familiar with evidence gathered against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Austria said he was “almost certain” the prime minister has taken a bribe.

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Scott Shiloh, | updated: 17:52

The prosecutor, Gerhard Yarush, is intimately familiar with the case in which a wealthy South African Jew, Cyril Kern, allegedly funneled money to Sharon’s family via an Austrian bank.

“After viewing the evidence that has been gathered thus far, my conclusion is that it’s almost certain that Ariel Sharon took a bribe,” said Yarush to the Jerusalem Post. Yarush is responsible for the ongoing Austrian investigation into the scandal involving Sharon and sons. Sharon lives with his two sons, Gilad and Omri, on Sycamore ranch in the Negev, in an extended family relationship.

Yarush says there can be no possible reason other than bribery “for the transfer of such large sums of money to the Sharon family.” He said that the Sharon family’s explanations “are not sufficient.”

According to the allegations under investigation, an Austrian millionaire, Martin Schlaff, used Cyril Kern as a conduit for transferring money to the Sharon family.

Schlaff is one of the owners of a casino in Jericho that attracted thousands of Israeli gamblers prior to onset of the Oslo war in September 2000. The casino operated under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority, and its profits were purportedly used to finance PA activities, including the sponsoring of terrorism against Israeli targets.

One of the major economic objectives of the Palestinian Authority has been to reopen the Jericho casino.