Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Wife of Israeli prime minister goes on trial for fraud

Sara Netanyahu's fraud and breach of trust trial begins in Jerusalem Netanyahu's wife goes on trial for fraud
Melinda Barton | 09 October, 2018, 17:32

On Friday, the prime minister was questioned by police investigating two cases in which he is accused of corruption, Israeli media reported. In 2016, the court has recognized Sara Netanyahu is guilty of the humiliation of one of the employees, whereby it was forced to pay 42 thousand dollars compensation. Mrs Netanyahu has also been a high profile and dogged presence alongside her husband.

Investigators of "Lahav 433", a national anti-corruption police unit, arrived at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem at 9 a.m. and interrogated him for about five hours. She flashed a nervous smile to a courtroom packed with reporters but made no remarks before the press was asked to leave.

According to the indictment filed in June by Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, Sara Netanyahu was aware that she was violating the rules when she ordered the meals.

According to her indictment, Netanyahu acted "to circumvent the rules and conditions" governing the prime minister's official residence "in order to fraudulently obtain state funding for various expenses for the accused and her family that were not supposed to be financed in this manner".

In Jerusalem the court began hearing the case of fraud in respect of the spouse of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Sarah.

The court later awarded the Netanyahus $32,500.

In front of the residence, protesters gathered with a large banner bearing Netanyahu's face and the words "crime minister" and chanting slogans calling for justice.

"People who are anti-Netanyahu say we have one more proof".

The right-wing prime minister has held the job for a total of more than 12 years, first from 1996 to 1999 and again beginning in 2009.

Allegations against him include allegedly seeking a secret deal with the publisher of Israel's top-selling newspaper Yedioth Aharonoth to ensure positive coverage in return for pushing forward a law that would have limited the circulation of a rival.

Despite the ongoing investigations, Netanyahu has remained strong in polls and he is not obliged to step down if formally charged.