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Israeli Prime Minister's wife faces fraud charges

Israeli Prime Minister's wife faces fraud charges

The allegations announced a year ago are that she and an aide falsely declared there were no cooks available at the prime minister's official residence and ordered from outside caterers at public expense.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded. They are accused of fraudulently received funds from the state for hundreds of food orders. "There was no fraud or breach of trust here or deceptively receiving things or any other crime".

According to this statement, "the wife of the prime minister, who is not a public servant, did not even know the procedures", nor was she the one who ordered the gourmet meals.

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

Suspicions included the misuse of around $100,000 in official funds for catering services at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, the ministry said in statement.

She also illegally paid approximately $10,000 for private chefs, prosecutors said. Her lawyers denounced the charges as "baseless and delusional".




Rules block the residence from ordering meals from off the premises when a cook is employed, according to Haaretz.

Under state regulations, cooks at the Prime Minister's Residence are supposed to supply prime ministers and their immediate families with daily meals.

Investigators have evidence that shows that Sara Netanyahu sought to hide the employment of a cook at their home and knew that ordering the meals violated rules, Haaretz reported. More so, the meals were not for the family's personal enjoyment, but for household workers and guests, including global diplomats.

Mrs. Netanyahu is accused of ordering meals from Jerusalem restaurants for as much as 26,000 shekel ($7,000) a month while employing a kitchen staff. The prime minister was questioned by police in that case last week. The attorney general has yet to decide whether to press charges against the prime minister.

Case 2000 involves a suspected illicit quid pro quo deal between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes that would have seen the prime minister weaken a rival daily, the Sheldon Adelson-backed Israel Hayom, in return for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.

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