'Omri has a giving nature'

Character witnesses testify for defense as court debates Sharon's sentence.

omri sharon 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
omri sharon 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court convened Monday morning to discuss sentencing Omri Sharon for his involvement in illegal campaign financing. The prime minister's son had already pled guilty for violating the party financing law, perjury, and falsification of records during his father's primary election campaign in 1999.
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The prosecution was to request the former MK be sentenced to 3 years in prison. Opening the court session Monday, two character witnesses testified for the defense. The first, Dror Mor, a childhood friend of Omri's and former employee of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) security detail, noted that Omri had a giving nature, and he didn't expect anything in return, Army Radio quoted. He affectionately called his friend "the salt of the earth." Second on the stand was Rakefet Katz, an activist with the Society for the Preservation of Nature. After pointing out Omri's contributions to environmental causes, she related a more personal story detailing the care and aid Omri provided her when she suffered from cancer. Omri Sharon's defense was expected to claim that the law limiting the amount of funds a candidate may collect was not reasonable. They were to note that nowhere else in the world does the state prevent candidates from collecting campaign contributions, while not providing the candidate with any state funds either. Court President Edna Beckenstein will decide today whether to concede to the prosecution's demand or hand out a lighter sentence.