Israeli PM Netanyahu's Wife Reportedly Charged With Fraud For Gourmet Dining

Elias Hubbard
June 21, 2018

JERUSALEM-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife has been indicted on charges of fraud for allegedly ordering thousands of dollars of gourmet meals at government expense to the family's official residence.

The cost amounted to "over 350,000 shekels ($97,000))", the justice ministry said. This is in violation of rules that prohibit ordering meals from outside the residence when a cook is employed, which Netanyahu reportedly tried to hide.

Investigators in the case gathered evidence that purportedly shows that the prime minister's wife ordered that the employment of the cook be concealed and also showed that she was aware that ordering meals from the outside for the residence when it employed a cook was a violation of the rules. For years, she has been accused of leading an extravagant lifestyle.

According to a source for Sara Netanyahu's defence team quoted by the Israeli website Ynet, she claimed to have had "no awareness she may have been committing criminal offences", and blamed officials in the household who advised her.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded.

Police have been investigating both of the Netanyahus over suspected corruption or fraud, with allegations that the prime minister traded favors for bribes from wealthy businessmen.

Another investigation sees Netanyahu suspected of attempting to reach an agreement with the owner of Yediot Aharonot, a best-selling Israeli newspaper, for more favorable coverage.

Despite his troubles, opinion polls suggest Mr Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party would remain the largest in parliament if elections scheduled for November 2019 were held now.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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