State said leaning toward indictment for Sara Netanyahu
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State said leaning toward indictment for Sara Netanyahu

PM's wife accused of using state funds to pay for caretaker for her late father and other personal expenses

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the lobby for encouraging Bible Study, at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, January 31, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the lobby for encouraging Bible Study, at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, January 31, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The State Attorney’s office is reportedly inclined to recommend that Sara Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, be indicted for misuse of state funds.

According to a report Thursday on Channel 10 news, the final decision on the indictment will be made by either the state attorney or Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Netanyahu is suspected of improper behavior and misuse of state funds relating to the Prime Minister’s Residence, including receiving goods under false pretenses, falsifying documents and breach of trust, the report said.

The most significant case, according to the report, concerns accusations of using public funds to pay for a caretaker for her father, the late Shmuel Ben-Artzi.

Sara Netanyahu arrives to testify at the Menny Naftali trial at the Jerusalem Labor Court on May 10, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Sara Netanyahu arrives to testify at the Menny Naftali trial at the Jerusalem Labor Court on May 10, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

She was questioned by police for hours last December over that case and two others involving suspected misuse of state money to order food for personal use.

At the time the prime minister condemned the investigation, saying that the allegations against her were baseless.

In May, Israel police recommended prosecuting her for aggravated fraud for allegedly appropriating public funds earmarked for the Prime Minister’s Residence for private use.

During a review of the case, the State Prosecutor’s Office asked the police to continue investigating and officers consequently discovered new evidence, the Channel 10 report said.

The evidence emerged in a long session of testimony given by Menny Naftali, a former caretaker at the residence, on November 1, according to the report.

Naftali was awarded NIS 170,000 ($46,000) in damages in February, after a labor court accepted his claims of mistreatment by Ms. Netanyahu during his employment at the Prime Minister’s Residence.

He had provided extensive descriptions of humiliation, racist remarks and angry fits that he allegedly suffered at the hands of Sara Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has consistently denied any wrongdoing and has claimed in the past that she is a victim of a plot to topple the prime minister and that former employees have been paid to testify against her.

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