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Israeli Prime Minister's Wife, Sara Netanyahu, Indicted For Fraud

Israeli Prime Minister's Wife, Sara Netanyahu, Indicted For Fraud

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu walk out after their meeting with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, second left, at Bercy Economy Ministry, in Paris, Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

In Thursday's indictment, the Justice Ministry said Sara Netanyahu was charged with graft, fraud and breach of trust for allegedly overspending more than $100,000 United States on private meals at the prime minister's official residence, even when there was a full-time chef on staff.

The justice ministry announced that "the Jerusalem district prosecutor a short time ago filed charges against the prime minister's wife".

The prosecution also indicted Seidoff, the former Prime Minister's Office deputy director-general, on Thursday for the same offenses as Netanyahu, while adding the offense of falsifying documents and with a total fraud amount of NIS 393,000 (approximately $108,000).

Sara Netanyahu has long faced allegations of abusive behaviour and living extravagantly.

Now the prime minister's wife faces a trial. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied. For years, she has been accused of leading an extravagant lifestyle.

Sara and Benjamin Netanyahu visit the British Museum in 2015.




Haaretz first reported past year that Sara Netanyahu would face fraud charges.

Investigators alleged that Sara Netanyahu moved to hide the employment of the cook at the residence, and that she knew ordering the meals violated the rules.

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

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to dismiss the investigation previous year.

He also faces suspicions of government favours that allegedly saw regulatory breaks go to Israel's largest telecom firm Bezeq, in return for favourable coverage of him and his wife by a news website.

A pre-indictment hearing in January where Netanyahu's lawyers asked Mandelblit to reverse his preliminary decision in September 2017 to indict her also failed to sway him, though Mandelblit issued a statement at the time that he "had an open mind" to their arguments.


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