updated 11/15/2005 8:42:42 PM ET 2005-11-16T01:42:42

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s eldest son pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of illegal fund-raising for his father’s 1999 election campaign, raising the specter of a prison term and putting his political future in jeopardy.

Omri Sharon, a member of Israel’s parliament, appeared briefly in a Tel Aviv court to admit to falsifying corporate documents, perjury and violating party funding laws.

Asked by the judge, if he confessed to the charges, he answered, “Yes,” and remained silent for the rest of the proceedings.

Under a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of fraud and breach of trust but are demanding imprisonment on the other counts.

Sentencing is scheduled for January. The charges carry a maximum of five years in prison, but the sentence is expected to be much lighter, possibly a suspended sentence or community service.

Omri Sharon and his brother, Gilad, helped their father to victory in a 1999 primary in the Likud party, overseeing parts of the campaign and the fund-raising activities.

The prime minister did not comment publicly on his son’s plea.

Under Israeli law a member of parliament sent to prison is suspended from his seat.

Next in line to replace Omri Sharon on the Likud party list is Pnina Rosenblum, a former beauty queen and cosmetics entrepreneur. Rosenblum says Omri Sharon should step down now, without waiting for the final word from the court.

“The moment a person admits the things he’s done, as a member of parliament and as son of the prime minister, I expect him to resign,” she told Israeli TV.

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