Sara Netanyahu told police investigators in 2015 that she and her husband do not have credit cards because they are afraid of losing them, and instead pay with cash or checks, the Kan public broadcaster reported Sunday.
Details from the ongoing trial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife were revealed in transcripts of an interrogation in which police asked Sara Netanyahu how expenses, especially food and private family purchases, were handled at the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Questioned about personal expenses, Netanyahu told investigators she and her husband use cash and checks only.
“I pay checks and cash, we do not have credit cards for fear of losing them,” Netanyahu told investigators. “We lost them many times, and the last time we had credit cards was about 15 years ago.”
During the interrogation Netanyahu rejected repeated allegations of improprieties.
“All the accusations are false, false, malicious. All based on the testimony of the crook and the liar Menny Naftali,” she told police, referring to the former manager of the prime minister’s residence who in 2017 successfully sued her for verbal and emotional abuse, and who she has said was responsible for “wasting money like crazy.”
The prime minister’s wife also admitted in questioning that she had not bothered to read the budget instruction booklet she had been given.
“No. It seemed totally boring,” she told investigators.
Three years after that interrogation, Sara Netanyahu and Ezra Saidoff, a former caretaker at the Prime Minister’s Residence, were charged last 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.
Last week it was reported prosecutors have renewed talks with the prime minister’s wife to reach a plea deal in the fraud case against her.
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 the prime minister says he is the victim of a political witch hunt driven by a hostile leftist media, the opposition and a biased police force, all relentlessly pressuring a “weak” attorney general to press charges.