Prosecutors said to renew plea deal talks with PM’s wife in catering case
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Prosecutors said to renew plea deal talks with PM’s wife in catering case

TV report says discussions taking place alongside arbitration efforts, aimed at settling criminal charges against Sara Netanyahu without lengthy trial

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara, center, sits in a courtroom in Jerusalem, on October 7, 2018. (Amit Shabi, Yedioth Ahronoth, Pool via AP)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara, center, sits in a courtroom in Jerusalem, on October 7, 2018. (Amit Shabi, Yedioth Ahronoth, Pool via AP)

Prosecutors have renewed talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife to reach a plea deal in a fraud case against her, Channel 13 news reported Thursday.

Sara Netanyahu and Ezra Saidoff, a former caretaker at the Prime Minister’s Residence, were charged in June with fraud and breach of trust over allegations they misused some $100,000 in funds on catered meals while there was a full-time chef on staff.

The report said discussions to reach a plea deal were taking place in tandem with arbitration efforts.

According to a Channel 12 news report earlier this month, prosecutors are at odds with Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit over the case, with the former seeking a conviction and the latter hoping to settle the charges through arbitration and thus avoid a drawn-out trial.

Last month, Channel 13 reported that prosecutors had rejected three separate proposals to settle the case through arbitration.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara at an event in Kfar Maccabiah, Ramat Gan on December 2, 2018. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Netanyahu’s trial is separate from her husband’s legal woes, which revolve around suspicions the prime minister took bribes or tried to arrange favors for media barons in exchange for positive press coverage.

Sara Netanyahu is also a suspect in one of those cases, in which she is thought to have had a hand in arranging positive media coverage from the Walla news site. Shaul Elovitch, the site’s owner, is alleged to have granted the Netanyhau family editorial control over some items in exchange for regulatory benefits arranged by the prime minister.

The Netanyahus have denied any wrongdoing, and say they are the victims of a political witch hunt driven by a hostile leftist media.

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