Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit indicted Sara Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, for allegedly misusing state funds to pay for meals to their residence. From Fox News:

Netanyahu was accused of misusing about $100,000 of public funds for catering services at the prime minister’s Jerusalem home while falsely stating there were no cooks on staff, the justice ministry stated.

Prosecution alleged in the “Prepared Food Affair” that Netanyahu along with then-deputy director-general Ezra Seidoff claiming the Prime Minister’s residence did not have a cook although one was working at the home. She allegedly ordered that the cook’s employment be kept secret and “she was aware that ordering meals from the outside for the residence when it employed a cook was a violation of the rules,” Haaretz reported.

The indictment came after Netanyahu refused to pay for the outside meal’s values despite a number of attempts to reach an agreement.

The allegations also state that Netanyahu and Seidoff “hoped to obtain state funding both for the cook at the residence and for prepared food orders.” The Jerusalem Post continued:

Furthermore, in 15 instances, invoices to chefs who were brought in from outside were falsified in order to circumvent limits on how much could be paid toward outside-chefs. Seidoff directed the chefs, the house managers and Netanyahus’ secretaries to falsify the invoices in these 15 instances.

Charges against Netanyahu for these 15 instances were previously closed by Mandelblit as there was insufficient evidence to prove that she knew about Seidoff’s and the others’ actions.

Her husband “has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded.” Netanyahu’s lawyer Yossi Cohen told The Jerusalem Post back “in January that Meni Naftali [former housekeeper] and other Prime Minister’s Residence managers like him, not Sara, are responsible for the food orders regarding which she is accused.”

More from The Jerusalem Post:

Cohen further has said that number could be easily reduced to NIS 30,000-NIS 40,000, as many times when prepared food was ordered, the staff cook was sick, traveling or off for Shabbat.

Asked if he could prove this argument, Cohen said it is known that the cook was off work for these reasons, and that all he needs to do is raise doubt and force the state to prove that the cook was in fact working at the time. Since he said the state has no way to prove, for example, that the cook was working when around NIS 15,000 was charged for prepared food in January 2011, it cannot prove Netanyahu or anyone else improperly ordered prepared food.

Cohen said that if the charges only related to NIS 30,000-NIS 40,000 at most, they could be dropped as relating to an oversight or to a violation too small to be worth prosecuting.

Translation: The spin of Sarah Netanyahu and her lawyers turned out to be groundless: not “air raids”, but fraud by hundreds of thousands of shekels on purpose.

*This is a breaking story. I will update the post as more information comes out.

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