State attorney may close bribery case against Ariel Sharon

State attorney may close bribery case against Ariel Sharon

Former prime minister, who has been in a coma since 2006, allegedly received millions of dollars from overseas businessmen

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Ariel Sharon (left) with his son Omri at the Knesset (photo credit: Flash90)
Ariel Sharon (left) with his son Omri at the Knesset (photo credit: Flash90)

A bribery case against former prime minister Ariel Sharon will likely be closed for lack of evidence, sources inside the State Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Sharon was under investigation for allegedly receiving millions of dollars from Cyril Kern, a British-born, South Africa-based businessman.

The fact that Sharon has been in a coma since 2006, and couldn’t stand trial, was a crucial factor in the decision, Haaretz reported on Monday. State Attorney Moshe Lador held a number of meetings on the topic, but the decision is not final, the Hebrew daily said.

Police suspected money was transferred to the prime minister through his two sons, Gilad and Omri Sharon, in an arrangement that went on for years, from 2001 until 2005.

Austrian casino magnate Martin Schlaff, who had financial interests in Israel at the time, was also believed to be involved in the operation. Police said more than $4.5 million was transferred in 2004 alone.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more: