Former MK Omri Sharon was sentenced to nine months in prison yesterday for his role in laundering the election campaign contributions of his father, comatose Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"Is everything kosher in the name of admiration of one's father?" asked Judge Edna Beckenstein in handing down her ruling. "In the name of faith in one's father's power, must the force of law fade and retreat? One who plans to lead his father to party leadership in the hope that he will become Prime Minister and a legislator, is he himself permitted to determine what is the law?"
"The police and prosecution have material that was collected in the police investigations," Spektor said. "[These materials concern] all the payments and everything, including the Cyril Kern case and other very grave cases such as the Greek Island that the public does not know about. And you," he said to interviewer Razi Barkai, "as a journalist, must ask why the public doesn't know about it."
Spektor was referring to the $1.5 million loan given Ariel Sharon and/or his sons and which is suspected of being a bribe. The Greek Island affair concerns allegations that Likud businessman David Appel paid the Prime Minister's younger son, Gilad, nearly $700,000 for "consulting work." Appel was hoping at the time to develop a vast tourism project in the Greek islands, and Ariel Sharon was foreign minister.
It does not appear that the media has rushed to take Spektor's above advice to ask questions on the affair. In fact, the Glatt-Berkowitz/Rubenstein/Sharon story is all but being ignored. The main noon news report on government-controlled Israel Radio opened with alleged threats by right-wingers against police figures, and did not mention the corruption story at all.
Spektor said that Ariel Sharon knew of his son's actions:
"For some reason, the prosecution approved the plea bargain [with Omri] so that the public would not find out what really happened.
"At one point, I said I don't want to be a part of this family any more - even though it cost me a lot of money - because I saw how they were doing things. They even tried to incriminate those who provided them the services. I left towards the end of 2000. The last payment I received was in January 2001 - a check signed by Ariel Sharon himself; how is it that this was not manifest in any indictment or in the public knowledge of this case?"
Asked what he was paid for by the Sharons, Spektor said his job was "to publicize in the press all the suspicions against [Ariel Sharon's political opponents] Olmert and Sheetrit that Omri and Weisglass told me about... I was behind the press campaign of '99 showing that Olmert illegally enlisted hareidim... Omri put me in touch with the hareidim in question, and then I brought them to the media. I think you should publicize what Olmert and Sharon thought of each other at that time. I also helped Sharon overcome what was then his very negative press image."
"Omri treated his father inappropriately," Spektor said. "This family was run by a child, who gave his father orders and humiliated him and had to approve every single appointment that was made."
Barkai asked, "In your opinion, did someone try to purposely cover up the investigations [against Ariel Sharon]?"
Spektor responded: "What, Rubenstein didn't stop the investigations for a time? Do you know how long it took him just to approve the continuation of the investigation regarding the bribe of the Cyril Kern case? Why did they make it so hard for the police to do its work? ... One of the best investigative police officers [was not promoted] because she tried to reveal the details... Another one who was nothing more than a car theft investigator suddenly becomes the head of the Investigations Division, while the one who tried to run the investigations without prejudice - Moshe Mizrachi - finds himself outside the department altogether... Of course they all deny what Glatt-Berkowitz said; so what? You call this a rule of law? This indictment [of Omri] was simply a joke."
Spektor said that "everyone knows" that the indictment handed down against Omri Sharon should have been directed at Ariel Sharon. He also said that it was strange that Ariel Sharon's trusted advisor, Dov Weisglass, "was not sitting aside Omri in the defendant's box. Weisglass was the main player, he knew about all the payments, he was the one behind the establishment of the straw companies, but the Attorney General saw fit not to indict him..."
Aides close to Ariel Sharon said that Spektor's remarks are not worthy of a response, and that he speaks as a "paranoiac liar."