Police: Indict former Israeli PM's sons

Feb. 1, 2011 at 10:44 PM
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JERUSALEM, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A 10-year Israeli police investigation has resulted in a recommendation that a former prime minister's sons be indicted on bribery charges, officials said.

Police in Jerusalem said Omri and Gilad Sharon, the sons of Ariel Sharon, should be charged with mediating the transfers of $3 million in bribes to Sharon from Austrian billionaire businessman Martin Schlaff, the Jerusalem Post and Ynetnews.com reported Tuesday.

The government ordered Ariel Sharon to repay the amount he received during the 2001 campaign. After the order, Sharon received a $1.5 million loan from Cyril Kern, a South African businessman. Sharon's sons got $3 million for giving consulting services regarding the establishment of a farm in South Africa, the Post and Ynetnews reported.

Police said the money was sent to help Ariel Sharon pay off 2001 election campaign debts, the Post reported. Police said, however, there is insufficient evidence due to Schlaff's evading questioning during the investigation.

In return, police said, Sharon was supposed to promote in Israel Schlaff's business interests.

Yoav Seglovitch, the head of the police's Investigations and Intelligence Branch, agreed the brothers should be indicted and sent the case on to state prosecutors to decide on whether to charge them.

The government's Anti Fraud Unit found Schlaff funneled the funds through Kern, the news sources said.

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