Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu′s wife charged with fraud | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 21.06.2018
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife charged with fraud

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been charged with fraud and breaches of trust. Netanyahu had been the focus of a long investigation into misuse of state funds.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, was indicted for misusing state funds, Israel's Justice Ministry said Thursday.

Netanyahu was the subject of a long police probe into allegations that she had falsified household expenses, including claims she had spent "over 350,000 shekels" ($96,500, €83,500) on catering for the premier's office.

Read more: What links Benjamin Netanyahu's corruption probe and ThyssenKrupp?

"The Jerusalem district prosecutor a short time ago filed charges against the prime minister's wife," the Justice Ministry said.

The charges against Netanyahu include fraud and breaches of trust.

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Police recommend corruption charges against Netanyahu

Netanyahus blame the housekeeper

When Netanyahu was told she may face a possible corruption trial in September last year, the Office the Prime Minister's official Facebook page published a post denying her involvement and said the allegations were "absurd and will be proven to be unfounded."

The Netanyahus instead blamed Meni Naftali, the premier's former housekeeper, for having ordered the food.

The prime minister himself is facing several graft cases at the moment. In March, police questioned Netanyahu and his wife for an investigation into whether his government improperly awarded benefits to Israel's largest telecom company, Bezeq.

Netanyahu and his family members are also suspected of having received 1 million shekels' ($285,000, €240,000) worth of luxury cigars, champagne and jewelry from wealthy personalities in exchange for financial or personal favors.

Another investigation sees Netanyahu suspected of attempting to reach an agreement with the owner of Yediot Aharonot, a best-selling Israeli newspaper, for more favorable coverage.

law/kms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)

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