Both Sara and the PM have denied the allegations and decried repeatedly of a ‘witch hunt’ against their family
Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is expected to be indicted in the coming week in a corruption case related to misuse of public funds, one of several ongoing corruption probes against her and her husband, Israeli media reported over the weekend.
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan are expected to announce their decision whether to prosecute the premier’s wife. While a decision has yet to be official made, reports have indicated that indictment was likely after failing to reach an agreement with the Netanyahu’s lawyers.
Mrs. Netanyahu, a former child psychologist, has been questioned extensively by the Israeli police’s national fraud squad over allegations that she misappropriated taxpayer funds to pay for meals at the official prime ministerial residence.
Netanyahu is suspected of working closely with the former head of the residence, Ezra Seidoff, to create the “false impression” that cooks at the Balfour St. house were not employed in a cookery, thus allowing her to circumvent a regulation and order external meals at the taxpayer’s expense.
It is alleged that 359,000 shekels ($102,000) of meals were fraudulently ordered from chefs and restaurants.
According to reports, the indictment was contingent on reaching a compromise with the Netanyahu’s to which they would reimburse the state for the money spent.
Hadashot TV reported last month that Mrs. Netanyahu was allegedly asked to pay NIS 200,000 ($56,128) initially in a plea deal, but that she rejected it outright, saying she would rather go to jail than reimburse the state.
Both Sara and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have denied the allegations and decried repeatedly that there is a “witch hunt” against their family.
The attorneys claimed that Mrs. Netanyahu had trusted the financial and administrative teams at the prime minister’s residence and Prime Minister’s Office to monitor the details of her spending, and was unaware at the time that she was committing an offense. They argued that she therefore did not knowingly commit a crime.
In a win for Sara Netanyahu, state prosecutors did not find sufficient evidence to charge her over several other matters, including the employment of a live-in caregiver for her father, hiring an electrician by circumventing the required tender process and transferring garden furniture paid for by the taxpayer to the family’s private home in the ritzy seaside town of Caesarea.
Meanwhile, there at least three other ongoing cases against the couple involving fraud, corruption, and bribery.
The cases have fueled speculation he could be forced to step down or call an early election but Netanyahu has maintained that he is innocent of any wrongdoing.
Reported by: i24news.tv