Sara Ne­tanyahu to be In­dicted for Mis­use of Pub­lic Funds

The Jewish Voice - - ISRAEL - By: TPS

At­tor­ney Gen­eral Avichai Man­del­blit will file an in­dict­ment against Sara Ne­tanyahu and Ezra Said­off, a for­mer deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice, for fraud­u­lent use of pub­lic funds. Ne­tanyahu is al­leged to have spent ap­prox­i­mately NIS 360,000 of tax­payer money for per­sonal ex­penses, in­clud­ing up to NIS 25,000 shekels a month to have food de­liv­ered from A-list restau­rants in Jerusalem.

The re­port also said that three other cases against Mrs. Ne­tanyahu in­volv­ing vi­o­lat­ing gov­ern­ment hir­ing reg­u­la­tions would be closed. Po­lice had in­ves­ti­gated the prime min­is­ter's wife for hir­ing a fam­ily friend to work at their pri­vate res­i­dence in Cae­sarea home on Shab­bat and hol­i­days, wait­ers at the of­fi­cial Jerusalem res­i­dence and care­tak­ers for her late fa­ther.

Po­lice had sus­pected that Ne­tanyahu had both hired the work­ers in vi­o­la­tion of gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions and paid them in ex­cess of mar­ket value.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral said the lat­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tions had not un­earthed suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to war­rant press­ing charges.

The in­dict­ment spells out thou­sands of shekels in monthly ex­pen­di­tures for food de­liv­er­ies – over 18,000 shekels in April 2011, 17,000 shekels in May 2011, 22,000 shekels in Novem­ber 2011 and over 24,000 shekels in De­cem­ber 2011.

He­brew-lan­guage Chan­nel 2 said the meals were not in­tended to en­ter­tain for­eign lead­ers.

The in­dict­ment al­leges that Sara Ne­tanyahu and Said­off de­lib­er­ately cre­ated the false im­pres­sion that there was no of­fi­cial chef work­ing at the res­i­dence when in fact there was a full-time em­ployee in the po­si­tion. This was done in or­der to al­low the sus­pects to “side­step the guide­lines” by which, when there is no chef em­ployed, the prime min­is­ter and his fam­ily are en­ti­tled to charge the state for food or­dered to the res­i­dence.

Sara Ne­tanyahu or­dered staff at the res­i­dence not to tell out­siders that there were cooks em­ployed in the res­i­dence, the draft in­dict­ment charges.

“In this man­ner, they fraud­u­lently re­ceived hun­dreds of meals from restau­rants and out­side chefs worth some NIS 359,000 ($102,000),” the state pros­e­cu­tion said in a state­ment ear­lier Fri­day, adding that the

spe­cific charges be­ing con­sid­ered were for “fraud un­der se­ri­ous cir­cum­stances and breach of trust.”

“The de­ci­sion [to in­dict] was made af­ter the at­tor­ney gen­eral ex­am­ined the case ma­te­rial and af­ter he heard the po­si­tions of the rel­e­vant sources, in­clud­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the state pros­e­cu­tion and the Jerusalem district pros­e­cu­tion to con­sider press­ing charges,” a state­ment from the at­tor­ney gen­eral's of­fice said.

Re­spond­ing to the com­ing in­dict­ment and to his own mount­ing le­gal trou­bles, Ne­tanyahu re­peated his mantra that “the would be noth­ing be­cause there was noth­ing.”

Fri­day, the prime min­is­ter listed on his Face­book page a for­mal re­sponse from his wife's le­gal team stress­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions that have been shelved. In ad­di­tion, the Ne­tanyahu posted a video high­light­ing his ac­tiv­i­ties over the past week, in­clud­ing in­au­gu­rat­ing a new train route to Carmiel, a new traf­fic in­ter­change in south­ern Jerusalem and pro­moted his up­com­ing visit to South Amer­ica.

An in­dict­ment was filed against Sara Ne­tanyahu and Ezra Said­off, a for­mer deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral of the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice, for fraud­u­lent use of pub­lic funds. Ne­tanyahu is al­leged to have spent ap­prox­i­mately NIS 360,000 of tax­payer money for per­sonal ex­penses, in­clud­ing up to NIS 25,000 shekels a month to have food de­liv­ered from A-list restau­rants in Jerusalem. Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO

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