Gilad Sharon's lawyers brought boxes of documents to the national fraud squad in time to meet a Tuesday deadline set by the Israeli Supreme Court, police spokesperson Gil Kleiman confirmed.
   
Police investigators told the court the documents could prove Sharon,75, and his two sons used a $1.5 million loan
from a South African friend as collateral to repay alleged illicit contributions to Sharon's 1999 campaign for the Likud
party leadership.
 

They also could shed light on what police say was a bid by a developer, with Likud ties, to buy a Greek island resort with the help of Sharon when he was foreign minister by employing his son Gilad and donating to his campaign fund.

Public support

The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing and promised to cooperate with investigators. Before the handover of documents today, Gilad Sharon and his older brother Omri, 39, had insisted on their right to remain silent.

"These are the documents we requested," Kleiman said. "We will go over them and see whether they are relevant to the case."
   
Political commentators say that while Sharon's image has been tarnished by the scandal, he faces no imminent risk of
being ousted as he still enjoys broad public support for his tough approach to a three-year-old Palestinian uprising.

But a recent poll found a majority of Israelis would favour Sharon resigning if evidence of misconduct was unearthed.