Israeli PM's wife Sara Netanyahu charged with fraud

Netanyahu's wife indicted on fraud charges

Israeli PM's wife Sara Netanyahu charged with fraud

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, was charged on Thursday with fraud over the alleged misuse of state funds in ordering catered meals at their official residence, the Justice Ministry said.

Last year, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that he was considering charging Mrs Netanyahu over the allegations following a long-running investigation, which has been the subject of intense speculation in the Israeli media.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the charges against his wife unfounded.

Seidoff was also charged with "falsification by a public servant". The prime minister has shared an attorney statement on his Facebook page, calling his wife's indictment "absurd and delusional". Netanyahu also faces several police investigations into alleged corruption, including accepting expensive gifts from billionaire friends.

"They're dealing with the most important things in the world", he said at the time. It is unclear when the trial will begin.

Mrs Netanyahu's lawyers said there was no fraud or breach of trust, and she had not been aware of the procedures. For years, she has been accused of leading an extravagant lifestyle.

Netanyahu has managed to deflect attention from his legal problems through a string of political and diplomatic victories in recent months. The following week, the USA withdrew from the global nuclear deal with Iran, a move that was warmly welcomed by Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has been able to rally his base by presenting himself as the victim of a politically motivated witch hunt. He described Sara as "the power behind the throne".

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. It follows claims that the news website Walla, owned by Bezeq Telecom, gave the government favourable coverage in return for regulatory benefits.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit made a decision to accept the recommendation of the State Prosecutor's Office and rejected the arguments of Mrs. Netanyahu's lawyers in favor of dropping the case.

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