Ministry: No Decision on Indicting Mrs. Netanyahu Yet

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu (L) speaks with then-Cabinet secretary Avichai Mandelblit at a Cabinet meeting in 2016. (Alex Kolomoisky/Flash90/POOL)

No decision has yet been made on indicting Mrs. Sarah Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in an investigation on the handling of the household budget in the Prime Minister’s Residence, the Justice Ministry said in a statement. The statement came in response to a report on Channel Two that State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit had decided to file charges against Mrs. Netanyahu on mismanagement of the household budget.

“Despite the news stories on the matter, no decision has yet been made by the State Attorney,” the statement said. “When a decision is made, after the completion of investigations ordered by the State Attorney, a definitive statement will be made on his decision.”

Police wrapped up their investigation of how Mrs. Netanyahu managed the budget for the household several months ago. In a statement, police said that all the evidence had been turned over to Mandelblit. Police did not make any specific recommendations on whether or not to indict Mrs. Netanyahu, as they commonly do in many criminal cases.

Mrs. Netanyahu is accused of wasting government money on excessive entertaining, and on using money allocated for running the household to other matters. According to those accusing her of wrongdoing, these actions cost the state hundreds of thousands of shekels a year. Among the misuse of funds: Hiring a caretaker for the care of the elderly father of Mrs. Netanyahu out of state funds, misstating the amount of outlays on services in order to get higher compensation from state funds, and using state money for unauthorized personal expenses.

In a statement, Mrs. Netanyahu’s attorney Yossi Cohen said that “the accusations against Mrs. Netanyahu are absurd. How much will the Netanyahu family be persecuted? Up to the point where a domestic worker prepared a cup of tea for Mrs. Netanyahu’s 97-year-old father on his deathbed?”