Omri Sharon appeals prison sentence

Claims court ignored his confession, remorse, inherent problems with the law.

omri sharon 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
omri sharon 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Former MK Omri Sharon submitted an appeal to the Tel Aviv District Court on Thursday morning over its verdict on his case in which he was accused of collecting excessive funds for his father's Likud leadership campaign. In his appeal, he claimed that the court failed to take into consideration the heavy personal price he had already paid, the confession and remorse he expressed and the personal stress he experienced at the time of the fundraising due to his mother's illness. The appeal also said that the court ignored the inherent problems in the party funding law. It claims the law was passed hastily, without considering the actual costs of a party leadership campaign and that such a campaign required much more money than what the law allowed. The case for which Sharon was charged occurred when his father, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was running for Likud leadership in 1999. Omri Sharon was accused of collecting funds in excess of what was allowed by law in order to pay for the campaign. In order to hide the illegally-obtained money, the prime minister's son placed the money in straw companies. He was initially charged with false registration of corporations, perjury, and breaking the party funding law. He pled guilty to the charges, but claimed the law limiting the amount of money that a candidate can raise for his campaign was unreasonable. Six weeks ago Sharon was sentenced to nine months in prison, nine months probation, and a NIS 300,000 fine for his role in the case. The prison sentence was suspended due to his father's serious medical condition. In the verdict she gave, Judge Edna Bankenstein noted that the punishment was also meant as a deterrent to prevent political corruption. At the time, Sharon's attorney decried that the sentence deviated from any previous precedent in cases like these.