Upon hearing the charges, Sharon did the decent thing and requested that his parliamentary immunity be stripped although new legislation means that this would have been a formality for the AG to arrange had he not done so.
According to Ynetnews.com, Sharon has all but come clean:
"Sharon criticized the restrictiveness of the law, saying that it was never put into practice and that "I am the one and only to be tried for violating it."The Jerusalem Post reports that:
Yet he added, "Yes, while working on my fathers' election campaign in 1999, I did not hold by the restrictions of the Parties Law, and I am ready to face justice. I will argue my case before the court that sits in judgment of me."
"In a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Sharon responded by saying that "running primaries in which hundreds of thousands of people take part requires an enormous financial expense. The amount of money allowed by law totally ignores this reality."These comments reflect some common unpleasant attitudes in Israeli society; first and foremost that if a person considers a law to be stupid or wrong, then they are somehow justified in breaking it - the law doesn't allow for sufficient funds to run a primary therefore it can be ignored - it is an attitude that we frequently witness most obviously on the roads and with the no smoking laws; secondly the fact that Sharon considers himself the target of "being picked on" - the laws weren't put into practice (until now) and why then should he be the one to be made an example of?
He added that the spending cap set by law did not allow candidates to run a reasonable campaign, and about ten times as much was actually needed."
Sharon's statement that he "did not hold by the restrictions of the Parties Law" is effectively an admission of guilt. The Judicial System will now be scrutinised to make sure that justice is carried out in a manner appropriate to any Israeli citizen - without reference to his standing and connections.