Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israel’s PM, charged with fraud

Sara Netanyahu is accused of misusing around $100,000 in official funds for catering services Sara Netanyahu is accused of misusing around $100,000 in official funds for catering services Credit Francois Mori AP
Charlie Simmons | 21 June, 2018, 21:30

According to the indictment filed by prosecutors in the Jerusalem District Court, Sara Netanyahu and the former deputy director of the prime minister's office, Ezra Saidoff, were charged with ordering meals to the residence worth a total of $99,000 between 2010 and 2013.

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was on Thursday officially indicted on charges of aggravated fraud and breach of trust, according to the Justice Ministry.

Suspicions included the misuse of almost $100,000 in official funds for meals supplied by gourmet restaurants to the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, the ministry said in statement. According to a statement by Israel's Justice Ministry, Sara Netanyahu has been charged with another government employee, for "fraudulently" spending $100,000 for meals supplied by restaurants.

Sara Netanyahu has been charged with using almost $100,000 of state money to cover unauthorized spending on high-end meals between September 2010 and March 2013.

Israel's attorney-general is still weighing whether to indict him. Her lawyers have denied such reports. The prosecution alleges that the prime minister's wife ordered that the cook be listed at the residence as a maintenance staff person.

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"They're dealing with the most important things in the world", he said at the time.

Although the indictment against Sara Netanyahu did not directly affect the prime minister, it ended a period of political victories that had bolstered the Israeli leader and distracted attention from his legal woes.

The charges are the culmination of years of investigation into Sara Netanyahu's official expenses.

In another case, ("Case 2,000") investigators suspect the premier of trying to reach an agreement with the owner of Yediot Aharonot, a top Israeli daily newspaper, for more favorable coverage of himself and his wife.

Meals also came from Cavalier, described by reviewers on Trip Advisor as "the only notable" French restaurant in Jerusalem before it closed past year, and from the Sheraton Plaza restaurant, then led by chef Shalom Kadosh.

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