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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 13:46 GMT
Sharon son jailed for corruption
Omri Sharon (left) talks to father Ariel Sharon in the Knesset
Omri Sharon ran his father's election campaign in 1999
The son of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been jailed for nine months for illegal campaign fundraising.

Omri Sharon pleaded guilty in November to falsifying documents and perjury. The charges relate to Ariel Sharon's 1999 bid to lead Likud and the country.

Omri stood down as an MP in January in anticipation of the sentencing.

His father has consistently denied involvement in the matter. He has been in a coma since 4 January, when he had a severe stroke and underwent surgery.

From now on, every politician will think once, twice and seven times before he puts his hand into the public purse
Yediot Aharonot

The court has delayed the start of Omri Sharon's imprisonment for six months because of his father's condition.

Omri, 41, and his younger brother Gilad have played an important part in the prime minister's political career, serving as advisers, fund-raisers and secret emissaries.

Ariel Sharon has not been charged in the corruption affair.

'Harsh' sentence

Sentencing Omri Sharon, the Tel Aviv court said he would be on probation for a further nine months after completing his custodial sentence.

He has also been fined 300,000 shekels ($64,000).

Omri Sharon
Age: 41
Ex-paratrooper and member of parliament
Single parent with three children
Father's personal envoy to Yasser Arafat in 2001

Judge Edna Beckenstein is reported as writing in the ruling: "This is a swamp of political corruption and it must be dried up."

The lawyer acting for Omri Sharon said he would appeal against an "exceptionally harsh" sentence," the Associated Press news agency reports.

The charges carried a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.

Omri Sharon was indicted in August for setting up fictitious companies to conceal illegal contributions during the 1999 vote for a Likud leader.

According to Israeli prosecutors he received more than $1.3m in campaign financing from corporations in Israel and overseas between July 1999 and February 2000, significantly more than is allowed by party finance laws

He is also accused of then putting the funds into a company called Annex Research.

The background to the case

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