Prosecutors to Drop Charges Against Mrs. Netanyahu in Yad Sarah Donation ‘Scandal’

YERUSHALAYIM -
The main entrance to the new emergency center of Yad Sarah in Yerushalayim. (Yad Sarah)

Prosecutors are likely to drop an investigation against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s wife Sarah, due to a lack of evidence, Kan News reported. The investigation, dubbed Case 4001, involves funds that Mrs. Netanyahu donated to chessed organization Yad Sarah.

The complicated accusation by Nir Chefetz, the former spokesperson for the Netanyahu family who became a state witness, involves payments to the organization that were made in lieu of a salary for Chefetz, who agreed to serve as the family spokesperson but declined to accept a salary. Mrs. Netanyahu allegedly proposed donating money to tzedakah as a substitute for the salaries that Chefetz would not receive.

The arrangement was not approved by the State Attorney, and Chefetz claimed that he was paid by the Netanyahus, and that Mrs. Netanyahu had demanded that he return the payment to compensate her for the transfer to Yad Sarah. Mrs. Netanyahu presented receipts to the State Attorney for an NIS 8,000 donation to the organization.

Prosecutors planned to investigate whether there was a “pay for play” transaction involved, in which Mrs. Netanyahu gave a phony donation in order to achieve a benefit. However, under questioning, Mrs. Netanyahu said that the money was an actual donation. Investigators also sought to determine if Yad Sarah had given the Netanyahus something in return for the donation. What they found, in fact, was that the organization had indeed given the Netanyahus access to medical equipment – three years earlier, for the Prime Minister’s ailing father. As Yad Sarah gives out free medical equipment to anyone who asks for it, prosecutors could find no quid pro quo, and are set to drop the case, Kan News reported.

In a statement, Yad Sarah said that the accusations were “ridiculous. It is not enough that the state does not help the disabled, but adds to its sins by scaring off potential donors by finding fault with an altruistic donation.”