<!--[if IE]><![endif]-->
Middle East
Middle East

Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara admits misusing public funds

  • 16 June 2019
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionSara Netanyahu admitted in court to misuse of state funds.

The wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has admitted to misuse of state funds and will have to pay $15,000 (£11,910).

Sara Netanyahu was accused of spending $99,300 on outside catering while falsely declaring there were no cooks available at the PM's residence.

She was charged with fraud and breach of trust last year.

Her lawyer said the case had nothing to do with her and said it was an attempt to bring down her husband.

Under a plea deal, Mrs Netanyahu will repay the state $12,490 and pay a fine of $2,777.

She will have a criminal record though the charges she faced were reduced, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Prosecutor Erez Padan said that the prosecution had made "significant concessions" that led to a "balanced and right plea deal." He said the compromise had saved the court from calling on 80 witnesses.

"The prosecution is aware there isn't full correlation between the sum and the criminal offence, however in the framework of the legal procedure, a full correlation is not obligatory," he said.

Last year, Mrs Netanyahu's lawyers argued that she had not been made aware of the procedures about outside catering and that the meals had been ordered by the household manager and served to visiting dignitaries.

Responding to the charges, Mr Netanyahu said in a statement: "Sara Netanyahu is a strong and honourable woman and there has never been any fault in her actions."

In 2016, a court awarded $47,000 in damages to a former housekeeper who accused Mrs Netanyahu of workplace abuse. The court accepted Meni Naftali's claim that he had been insulted and verbally abused.

Separately, Prime Minister Netanyahu is facing his own legal battles. The Israeli attorney general informed him in February that he intended to indict him on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three cases, pending a final hearing.

The final hearing, at which the prime minister and his lawyers will be able to argue against the allegations, is scheduled to take place in October.

Mr Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he is the victim of a political "witch-hunt".

Related Topics

More on this story

  • Sara Netanyahu: Israeli PM's wife 'agrees plea bargain'
    29 May 2019
  • Sara Netanyahu: Israeli PM's wife charged with fraud
    21 June 2018

Top Stories

UK ran around 'like idiots' in Brexit negotiations

The EU Commission's first vice-president claimed ministers turned up to Brussels without a plan in 2017.

17 July 2019
Ministers mull night ban for young drivers
18 July 2019
Ebola outbreak declared global health emergency
17 July 2019

Features

The school exam controversy that cost 23 lives

Six global issues the UK's new PM will have to tackle

Why US bird attacks on humans are on rise

Trekking 10,000km across Africa for a football match

Should I offset my summer holiday flights?

Trade war infects Asia as exports plunge

Film and TV fans set for Comic-Con 2019 treats

Elsewhere on the BBC