Wife of Israeli PM Netanyahu charged with fraud

Lester Mason
June 23, 2018

Media reports have been quick to point out that the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin resigned in 1977 shortly before his wife was indicted on charges concerning a foreign bank account. He is now serving his fourth term in the office.

In 2016, a former chief caretaker at the official residence successfully sued the couple for abusive treatment, winning about $43,735 in damages.

Benjamin Netanyahu himself was not named in the indictment, though he is now the subject of a handful of separate corruption investigations.

The prime minister himself has been entangled in several serious corruption investigations. According to the indictment, Mrs. Netanyahu "worked together with Ezra Seidoff to fraudulently obtain funding for ordering hundreds of meals from restaurants worth 393,670 shekel ($108,745)".

The attorney general of Israel, Avichai Mandelblit, filed Thursday's indictment over the objections of Sara Netanyahu's lawyers.

"This is the first time in Israel and in the world that the wife of a leader is brought to justice over food trays", the post continued.

The charges include offences of accepting bribes, fraud and a breach of trust. In one case, the prime minister and his wife are suspected of receiving extravagant gifts from a billionaire benefactor. It detailed 15 cases in which Sara Netanyahu ordered food from outside chefs including Shalom Kadosh and Lior Hafzadi.

Most of the food was consumed by guests and household workers - supposed to be accounted for under another budget - rather than the Netanyahu family, the statement added. But the extra work was paid for by the state, at a cost of about $1,000 that should have been borne by Sara Netanyahu, the indictment charges. The negotiations fell through, according to Hadashot TV news.

It was not immediately clear when her trial would begin. They say that all the cases are politically motivated, part of efforts to drive Netanyahu out of office.

Among other things, the prime minister has been accused of using his position to give millions of dollars of benefits to a telecommunications company in return for positive news coverage.

The second involves allegations that Benjamin Netanyahu offered a corrupt deal to the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, one of Israel's largest newspapers.

He was questioned last week as a witness in a probe of alleged corruption over the state purchase of three German submarines.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article