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Sharon's son hopes for father's recovery

The son of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon has been sentenced to 9 months in prison over a political fundraising scandal.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 18:33 IST
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The son of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, sentenced to nine months in prison over a political fundraising scandal, said he had no regrets and hoped his comatose father would recover.

"I was young. I was foolish. I did stupid things... Even so, I believe I helped do the right thing," Omri Sharon told Israel's Maariv daily newspaper in an interview published on Friday.

An Israeli court this week sentenced the 41-year-old to nine months in prison over the illegal party funding of his father's 1999 campaign to head the right-wing Likud party.

The court delayed the start of his jail time for six months out of consideration for his father's medical condition. The prime minister suffered a massive stroke on January 4 and remains unconscious.

Omri Sharon said he still holds out hope for his father's recovery, though most experts say that is highly unlikely.

"He is with us. He is fighting. He is not giving up... We believe he will survive this. That he will return," the younger Sharon said.

Omri Sharon pleaded guilty to charges of perjury, fraud and breach of trust, which carried a maximum of seven years behind bars. Along with the nine-month sentence, he received six months suspended sentence and a 300,000 shekel ($64,000) fine.

The sentence had little bearing on Likud, which the prime minister quit last year to form the centrist Kadima Party.

Omri Sharon followed his father from Likud to Kadima, but he resigned from Israel's parliament in January.