Sara Netanyahu charged with misuse of public funds

Posted June 24, 2018

The two are accused of fraudulently charging some NIS 359,000 ($100,000) in gourmet meals to the state's expense between 2010 and 2013, violating laws that ban the ordering of prepared food when a chef is already employed at the official residence.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara Netanyahu and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sit during a reception held at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, ahead of the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, May 13, 2018.

Netanyahu has previously faced allegations of abusive behavior and living extravagantly, the AP noted.

According to the indictment, the first lady instructed staff to order gourmet meals worth almost $100,000 between 2010 and 2013.

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"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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu stand next to the dedication plaque of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. The newspaper, however, says there is no indication Netanyahu would step down over the charges against his wife.

Sara Netanyahu has denied the charges and refused to settle the payment out of court.

Meals also came from Cavalier, described by reviewers on Trip Advisor as "the only notable" French restaurant in Jerusalem before it closed previous year, and from the Sheraton Plaza restaurant, then led by chef Shalom Kadosh.

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Mrs Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

Seidoff was also charged with "falsification by a public servant".

"There was no fraud and no breach of trust or accepting bribes or any crime at all", they added. For years, she has been accused of leading an extravagant lifestyle. In March, police questioned Netanyahu and his wife for an investigation into whether his government improperly awarded benefits to Israel's largest telecom company, Bezeq.

In what is known as Case 1000, the police accused the prime minister of receiving gifts worth $280,000 from billionaires in exchange for political favors.

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