Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has to face trial over alleged misuse of public funds, said Attorney General Avichai Mandelbilt.
According to the Independent, Sara Netanyahu has been accused of using money set aside for the prime minister’s official residence for furniture and improvements to the couple’s private home, hiring Likud Party central committee member Avi Fahima as an electrician against official advice, paying for her father’s care, inflating dinner party numbers to hire private chefs, and pocketing 23,000 shekels (£4,800) in recycling refunds. She denies any wrongdoing.
Earlier, this week Sara took a polygraph test ahead of the expected indictment on her “own initiative” in order to “prove her version of events” before the attorney general made his decision, which was widely expected on Friday.
In a post on his Facebook page on Friday Benjamin Netanyahu came to his wife’s rescue, calling the claims “absurd and baseless”. “Sara Netanyahu is a brave and honest woman and has never done anything wrong. The sharp increase in spending at the prime minister’s residence was caused by offences committed by the problematic chief caretaker, Meni Naftali, a criminal state’s witness and a serial liar. Naftali is making false accusations against the prime minister’s wife to extricate himself from accountability for the offences he committed,” he added.
The charges against Sara Netanyahu are the first to be formally brought in several investigations into the prime minister and his inner circle.
Benjamin Netanyahu himself is currently under investigation in four different cases related to bribery, fraud and breach of trust.