omri sharon in court.
(photo credit: AP)
The state on Tuesday urged Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court to sentence Omri Sharon to a period of time in jail and a heavy fine and not to let him off with a period of public service outside prison.
The prosecutor, Erez Nurieli, charged that Sharon "collected more than NIS 6 million even though the law allowed only NIS 830 million [in campaign contributions for the primary campaign for leadership of the Likud Party in 1999.] He used all these millions to arrange for the election of his father."
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Nuriel charged that Sharon had planned in detail the entire procedure for obtaining the money and concealing its use in the campaign. "They say that Sharon used sophisticated methods, gave orders to make false entries and did everything possible to prevent any supervision [of campaign spending.] We are not talking here about a few individual acts but a series of consistent ones lasting several months. He did not leave anything to chance. Everything was planned and the plan was hidden from everyone. He added one crime to another by signing a false, dishonest and fraudulent affidavit."
Nurieli charged that in arguing that the law governing primary campaign contributions was unrealistic, Sharon had proved that he had not internalized the gravity of the crimes he had committed even after having admitted to them. He pointed out that the maximum fine for Sharon's deeds according to the law was NIS 50 million.
"We asked the court to determine that Sharon's actions involve moral turpitude and that it should sentence him to a period of time in jail," Nurieli told reporters afterwards.
Earlier, journalist Ari Shavit, who testified as a character witness on Sharon's behalf, told the court, "The nation fell in love with Ariel Sharon thanks very much to the work of Omri and at the same time targeted Omri himself."
According to Shavit, "Omri Sharon's code of comradeship and friendship goes very deepâ€¦His loyalty as a son to his father is almost hard to fathom - the power of the family tie and his readiness to do anything for his father. I don't want to say 'sacrifice himself,' but his willingness to anything out of total loyalty to his father."
Shavit added that Omri Sharon was no innocent, but his way of life was authentic, modest and lacking all arrogance. He said Sharon lived in a simple apartment in Tel Aviv and had about him 'a kind of Israeliness that has been lost.'
The pleas before sentencing are due to continue on Wednesday, when Sharon's lawyer, Danny Scheinemann, is expected to ask the court to suffice with his client's conviction or, at most, sentence him to a period of public service. Sharon will then have the opportunity to address the court in person.