Netanyahu’s wife charged with R1.3m food delivery fraud

Jerusalem-  On Thursday it was announced that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara Netanyahu has been charged with fraud and breach of trust after a lengthy probe into allegations she misused state funds to claim for delivery meals costing $100 000 (about R1.3 million).

This the latest legal headache for Netanyahu and his family, with authorities also investigating the leader for allegations of corruption in a number of surprising cases.

The justice ministry announced that “the Jerusalem district prosecutor… filed charges against the prime minister’s wife”.

The ministry said Sara Nethanyahu is accused of lying by saying there were no cooks available at the premier’s official residence and ordering “hundreds of meals from outside caterers at public expense”.

The indictment read that between 2010 to 2013 Netanyahu, her family and guests received “fraudulently from the state hundreds of prepared meals (each including a number of courses) to the value of 359 000 shekels (R1.3 million).”

Mrs Netanyahu has been highly present during her husband leadership and been at his side throughout and has denied any wrongdoing.

In a statement her lawyers dismissed the charges as “delusional” and said she herself had not ordered the meals, several were ordered for official guests and in some cases for residence staff.

In the charge sheet it says the meals were ordered from a variety of well-known Jerusalem establishments, including an Italian restaurant, a Middle Eastern grill joint and a sushi establishment.

It is predicted that the trial could take months to conclude and to be held in the Jerusalem magistrates court. The prosecution has requested a panel of three judges due to the “public sensitivity” of the case.

Photo Credit- Los Angeles Times

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