PM Netanyahu’s Wife Charged With Fraud – Justice Ministry

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -
Israeli police interrogators arrive at the Prime Minister’s residence in Yerushalayim on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, was charged on Thursday, together with her assistant Ezra Seidoff.  The charges are all related to the details of the management of Prime Minister’s Residence.

State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit approved the recommendation by Yerushalayim prosecutors to indict Sarah Netanyahu in the case, his office said in a statement Thursday.

Sara Netanyahu was charged with aggravated fraud and breach of trust, according to the indictment released by the Justice Ministry to the media.

There were additional charges that applied only to Seidoff, incluing breach of trust, illegally receiving personal benefits, and fraud. The charges claim that he falsified documentation in order to get funding for wait staff for dinner parties and events that he ran, and that he pocketed the money.

The prime minister, who himself is embroiled in a series of corruption investigations, has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded.

Sara Netanyahu, 59, has inspired a multitude of headlines in the past over what family spokesmen call an undeserved reputation for imperiousness.

It seemed unlikely the latest case could cause significant political damage to her husband, now in his fourth term as Israel’s leader and riding high in opinion polls despite the allegations against him.