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Israeli PM's wife charged with fraud, breach of trust

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara (Photo by AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, has been indicted for aggravated fraud and breach of trust over the misuse of public funds at their official residence.

According to the indictment released by the Israeli "justice ministry" on Thursday, Sara Netanyahu, along with a regime employee, fraudulently ordered hundreds of meals worth $100,000 from gourmet restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in violation of rules barring such practice when the prime minister's residence has a cook.

The Israeli premier's wife further directed the residency workers to hide the employment of a cook "so that this won't be found out by the treasury and the office manager," according to the indictment.

In recent months, Netanyahu’s attorneys have tried to reach a settlement that would see no criminal indictment but the return of the funds.

However, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit rejected any settlement because Sara Netanyahu is also a suspect in Case 4000, which involves suspicions the prime minister advanced regulations benefiting Bezeq telecom’s owner in exchange for flattering coverage from Bezeq’s Walla news site.

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

The Israeli premier also faces several police investigations into corruption, but he has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the accusations as a media witch hunt.

Netanyahu is suspected of having received luxury gifts from businessmen overseas in Case 1000.

He is also being investigated in Case 2000 for an alleged media bribery scheme to help the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper against its competitor Israel Hayom in return for favorable coverage of the premier.

Another bribery scandal, called the “submarine affair” or Case 3000, involves Netanyahu associates. 

Israelis have been holding weekly protests to demand the prime minister’s resignation over the corruption scandals, but Netanyahu has described the events as part of efforts meant to topple him “at any cost.”

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