Israeli PM Netanyahu's wife charged with fraud

Hannah Rogers
June 21, 2018

He is not expected to resign in response to his wife's indictment, although the Jerusalem Post reported that he could face charges for bribery or breach of public trust next year for his involvement in the Bezeq-Walla! affair.

Bibi denies the allegations and has called the investigations - get ready for it - a witch hunt.

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

"Sara Netanyahu is a strong and honourable woman and there has never been any fault in her actions", a statement on the prime minister's Facebook page said.

According to the allegations, the two made the false claim to circumvent and exploit regulations stating that "in a case where a cook is not employed in the official residence, it is permitted to order prepared food as needed".

The indictment was also delayed from May until now after Nir Hefetz, a former close adviser to the Netanyahu family, provided new evidence against Sara Netanyahu.

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The indictment says Sara Netanyahu falsely claimed there were no cooks on staff when the meals were ordered. Saidoff was also charged with falsification by a public servant. Her husband is now facing a number of criminal investigations relating to allegations of corruption.

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.

He was questioned last week as a witness in a probe of alleged corruption over the state purchase of three German submarines.

Details of the case were revealed by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in September.

Despite his troubles, opinion polls suggest Netanyahu s right-wing Likud party would remain the largest in parliament if elections scheduled for November 2019 were held now.

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