Netanyahu's Wife Charged With Fraud - Leah Barkoukis

Lucy Bush
June 24, 2018

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was charged with fraud and breach of trust Thursday for allegedly using government funds to order almost $100,000 worth of gourmet meals to the couple's official residence between 2010 and 2013.

The indictment alleging "systematic fraud" was filed Thursday in Jerusalem Magistrate's Court.

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attends a ceremony in the Old City of Jerusalem on May 21, 2017.

She allegedly ordered that the cook's employment be kept secret and "she was aware that ordering meals from the outside for the residence when it employed a cook was a violation of the rules", Haaretz reported.

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Sara Netanyahu's lawyers said the indictment was "ludicrous". Netanyahu denies all wrongdoing. The Israeli prime minister is himself embroiled in a series of corruption investigations but has protested his innocence and vowed to remain in power, saying he is the victim of a witch-hunt.

The indictment against Sara Netanyahu comes months after Israel's justice ministry said she might face charges over the costly meals.

"They're dealing with the most important things in the world", he told supporters at a rally, "the procedure for replacing a light bulb, trays of food, the cup of tea that was served to her father, a righteous man, on his deathbed". Saidoff was also charged with falsification by a public servant. If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

It was not immediately clear when her trial would begin.

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"There was no fraud or breach of trust or fraudulent receipt of items, or any other offence".

In what is known as Case 1000, the police accused the prime minister of receiving gifts worth $280,000 from billionaires in exchange for political favors.

Netanyahu was the subject of a long police probe into allegations that she had falsified household expenses, including claims she had spent "over 350,000 shekels" ($96,500, €83,500) on catering for the premier's office.

The prime minister dismissed the investigation past year, arguing it was a preoccupation with unimportant issues.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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