[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 January 2006, 21:39 GMT
Police find 'Sharon bribe clues'
Omri Sharon (left) talks to father Ariel Sharon in the Knesset
Omri Sharon ran his father's election campaign in 1999
Israeli police have evidence that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's family received $3m in bribes, it has been alleged on an Israeli television channel.

Police have been investigating illegal political contributions allegedly made in 1999, when Mr Sharon was running for the leadership of the Likud Party.

Last November Mr Sharon's son Omri pleaded guilty to violating party funding laws.

However, the prime minister has always denied any involvement.

Lior Chorev, a key Sharon aide, dismissed the report.

"No official is saying this, a reporter is saying this," he said. "Since when do I need to respond to speculation of a reporter on Channel 10."

Computer files

The channel showed what it said was a police document that had been presented to a Tel Aviv district court, outlining evidence of the alleged bribe.

A police spokesman told the AFP news agency the evidence came from a computer confiscated in a raid on a house in Israel belonging to the family of an Austrian financier, Martin Shlaff.

"We suspect that there could be proof within Shlaff's computer data that the sum of $3m was transferred to the Sharon family," the spokesman, Mickey Rosenfeld, said.

However, police had been prevented from examining the computer hardware by a temporary court order obtained by Mr Shlaff's lawyers, he said.

The news followed Omri Sharon's resignation from parliament on Tuesday.

He is due to be sentenced later this month for providing false testimony and falsifying documents, and violating funding laws during his father's election campaign.

Prosecutors are demanding he go to prison.


SEE ALSO:
Israeli PM's son to plead guilty
15 Nov 05 |  Middle East
Sharon son charged in finance row
28 Aug 05 |  Middle East
No corruption charge for Sharon
17 Feb 05 |  Middle East
Analysis: Israeli PM's troubles
19 Aug 04 |  Middle East
MPs discuss Sharon bribery case
21 Jun 04 |  Middle East
Q&A: Sharon corruption inquiries
15 Jun 04 |  Middle East
Profile: Ariel Sharon
03 May 04 |  Middle East



PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific