Omri Sharon quizzed over campaign sleaze

Anti-fraud officers have grilled Ariel Sharon's son Omri for nine hours over a political party funding scandal.

    Israeli Prime Minister may also be questioned by police over political sleaze

    Omri Sharon, a right-wing Likud party member of the Knesset, was held and questioned by officers at Bat Yam police station, according to Israeli radio reports.


    He answered about 10% of their questions over illegal campaign financing allegations surrounding his father’s successful 1999 election bid.


    The Sharon family is being investigated for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, obtaining a $1.5 million loan from South African businessman Cyril Kern in 1999.


    The money was said to have been used to pay back illegal party contributions in an attempt to cover their tracks.


    Second interrogation


    This is the second time that Omri has been questioned over his role in the affair. In his February 2002 interview he exercised his right to remain silent.


    The on-going scandal surrounding the allegations has dented Sharon’s poll ratings though most media coverage has focused on the ever-increasing spiral of violence in the Occupied Territories.


    Ariel Sharon himself may also be questioned by police next week in connection with the allegations.


    Israeli detectives in February went to South Africa to question Kern but did not bring any charges against him.



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