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Netanyahu’s Wife Charged With Fraud, Breach of Trust

Netanyahu’s Wife Charged With Fraud, Breach of Trust”

Sarah Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has been charged with fraud over alleged misuse of state funds and breach of public trust.

The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been charged with misusing £75,000 of public funds to order lavish meals from famous chefs.

According to the indictment, the prime minister's wife told staff at the official residence to order meals consumed at the residence from gourmet restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in violation of rules barring the residence from ordering meals from the outside during periods when the residence has a cook on its 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. In 2016, a court ruled she abused an employee and awarded the man £31,000 in damages. During his testimony, Meni Naftali revealed intimate details about Sara Netanyahu's lifestyle, including her taste for pink champagne and other luxuries. Israeli police have recommended charging Benjamin Netanyahu in two separate investigations.

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

Her lawyers described the indictment as absurd and delusional.

"There was no fraud and no breach of trust or accepting bribes or any crime at all", they added. It was unclear when her trial would begin.

If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of five years in jail although that seemed unlikely.

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Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent of the Jerusalem Post, said the indictment was a "devastating blow" to the prime minister.

"He consults with her on key issues, both personal, political and even diplomatic and security issues and now she's under indictment and that's very serious", Hoffman said.

Netanyahu was also questioned in Case 4000, which alleges he enacted policies that would financially benefit his friend Shaul Elovitch, the controlling shareholder of the telecommunications company Bezeq, in exchange for positive coverage on Elovitch's Walla news site. He was also suspected of giving special treatment to Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the Yediot Ahronot daily, and in return, the newspaper would give him favorable coverage.

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