Ariel Sharon is under suspicion

Israel's Attorney General is to examine reports claiming that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, during his recent visit to New York, raised money for his re-election campaign beyond the legal limit.

Attorney General Meni Manuz will only decide whether to launch a criminal investigation after checking into the reports. Sources close to Sharon deny the report.

According to the available data, Sharon held a dinner with wealthy Jewish donors in New York Sunday night, where the guests were reportedly requested to donate at least 10,000 dollars per couple to attend.

Israeli law limits campaign contributions for primary campaigns, to 7,800 dollars per donor.

Although the sources close to Sharon admitted that there were "several" dinners with long-time supporters during his six-day stay in New York, there was no attempt to raise campaign funds.

Meanwhile Sharon returned to Israel on Sunday after spending six days in New York where he attended the UN General Assembly, met numerous world leaders, long-time friends and supporters and leaders of American Jewish organizations.

Sharon is being challenged for the Likud party leadership and the candidature as premier by former finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the AKI reports.

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