Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife charged with fraud

21 June, 2018, 21:30 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Netanyahu's wife indicted on fraud charges | TheHill

A former deputy director of the prime minister's residence is also charged in the case.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife has been charged with misusing public funds, compounding the first family's legal problems as the attorney general weighs whether to indict the premier himself on suspicion of corruption.

According to the indictment, between 2010 and 2013 the Prime Minister's wife ordered a total of 350,000 shekels (nearly $100,000 United States dollars) worth of gourmet meals from various restaurants to the Prime Minister's Residence, a direct violation that bars outside meals being brought when a cook is employed at the residence.

Sara Netanyahu is charged with misusing 359,000 shekels ($100,000; £77,000) for catering services at the prime minister's official residence.

The expenses claims were said to have been made whilst covering up the fact that the residence also employed a cook.

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. The charges, which are referred to as "Meals-Ordering Affair", are denied by Sara Netanyahu on various occasions.

More news: Trump claims he has 'largely solved' North Korea problem

"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". The prime minister was questioned by police in that case last week.

Regardless, the attorneys contend, Netanyahu and his "family's economic expenses at the prime minister's residence will be paid by the State, as also mandated for the president's residence".

The charges against Netanyahu include fraud and breaches of trust.

According to a source for Sara Netanyahu's defence team quoted by the Israeli website Ynet, she claimed to have had "no awareness she may have been committing criminal offences", and blamed officials in the household who advised her.

In February, police recommended Netanyahu be charged with bribery in two other cases.

Netanyahu is suspected of accepting lavish gifts from billionaire friends, and promising to promote legislation to help a major Israeli newspaper against its free rival in exchange for favourable coverage.

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