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Jerusalem - Israeli PM's Wife Sentenced For Misusing State Funds

Published on: June 16, 2019 08:35 AM
By: AP
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Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaving the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on June 16, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leaving the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on June 16, 2019. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel - A Jerusalem magistrate court on Sunday sentenced Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to pay a fine of more than $15,000 for misusing state funds. The sentencing comes after she agreed to a plea bargain that ended the years-long saga of just one of the high-profile corruption cases involving the prime minister’s family.

The court ruling settled allegations that Sara Netanyahu had misused some $100,000 in state money on lavish meals. She was indicted on charges of fraud and breach of trust last year after the State Attorney’s office accused her of running up large tabs at luxury restaurants while the official residence employed a full-time chef between the years 2010 and 2013.


The settlement saw her admit to a more minor charge of “intentionally exploiting the mistake of someone else,” specifically by misleading officials who didn’t realize she already benefited from chefs on the government payroll.

Under the terms of the bargain, Sara Netanyahu agreed to pay $2,800 in fines and hand the remaining $12,500 back to the state. The settlement also reduced the overspending charge to $50,000.

But the prime minister himself remains the main focus of the family’s legal troubles. He is facing an indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, pending a hearing scheduled for early October. He has pushed for a postponement and can still request an extension from the Supreme Court.

Benjamin Netanyahu is accused of accepting lavish gifts from billionaire friends and promising to promote advantageous legislation for a major newspaper in exchange for favorable coverage. He vehemently denies wrongdoing, portraying himself as a victim of media-orchestrated persecution against him and his family in an attempt to oust him from power.

The prime minister and his wife have a reputation for leading indulgent lives at public expense, out of touch with most Israelis. The 60-year-old Sara Netanyahu in particular has been accused of excessive spending, using public money for her private, extravagant tastes and for abusive behavior toward her personal staff. These allegations earned her an image as the Israeli Imelda Marcos, the former Philippine first lady infamous for her collection of designer shoes.

In 2016, a court ruled Sara Netanyahu mistreated a housecleaner and awarded the man $42,000 in damages. Other employees have accused her of abuse, charges the Netanyahus reject. Another former housekeeper is currently suing Sara Netanyahu for $63,000 in damages over mistreatment and harassment.

However, Sara Netanyahu’s lawyer, Yossi Cohen, portrayed his client as a victim, saying she had “been put through hell” the past four years with a public shaming campaign that was due only to her public standing.

“Sara Netanyahu is today paying a heavy and painful personal cost to put an end to this witch hunt, and I hope that indeed this is the end of the story,” he said after the hearing.

Benjamin Netanyahu has stood by her, calling her a “true hero” and bemoaning how she had become a “punching bag” for their opponents.

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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »


 Jun 16, 2019 at 09:02 AM Educated Archy Says:

The AP fake newsters just reval in this silly witch hunt against bibi. They can't stand how successful someone on the right is.

By the way When the Collation failed the fake npr said it wasn't about the frum draft concern rather it was bec Bibi wanted to pass a new law that a sitting man can't be indicted. yes it's true Bibi does want to pass that law and I hope he success. But Bibi offered the Avoda aka labor party to join the government and he did drop that demand. That's a fact. But npr and BBC only care about turning Bibi and Trump into villains
Fake fake news so very sad


 Jun 16, 2019 at 09:05 AM Educated Archy Says:

Sentenced? Looks like fines to me.

Just proves my point. The AP fake news has to make it sound bad even though they are not putright lying


 Jun 16, 2019 at 10:04 AM qazxc Says:

Sleazy is as Sleazy does.


 Jun 16, 2019 at 02:39 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
qazxc Says:

Sleazy is as Sleazy does.

Idiotic. The left in Israel targets Bibi and the right just like the filthy left in US targets Trump, the best Pres in history because they can’t beat him on the issues (record high economy, jobs, low unemployment, tough on foreign policy, respected and feared again in the world after being laughed at under the wekaling obama).


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