Prime Minister's Wife Indicted for Fraud

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara speak during the opening of a special exhibit on Jewish presence in Jerusalem at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel's prime minister, has been indicted on fraud and breach of trust charges for ordering some $96,000 worth of private meals from high-end restaurants rather than using the residence's cook to prepare meals. It is unclear when the trial will begin. If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The response asserted that the premiere's wife is not a public servant and was simply unaware of the appropriate procedures, as she apparently explained while subject to a lie detector test, adding that she did not even order the service.

Cohen called the limitations on expenditures for the prime minister's residence unconstitutional as they were passed by regulation and not by a Knesset law. "There was no fraud or breach of trust here or deceptively receiving things or any other crime".

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Rules block the residence from ordering meals from off the premises when a cook is employed, according to Haaretz.

The Israeli premier also faces several police investigations into corruption, but he has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the accusations as a media witch hunt. In recent months Netanyahu has climbed in the polls, shored up by President Donald Trump's relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, two decisions the Israeli leader championed.

Suspicions included the misuse of almost $100,000 in official funds for meals supplied by gourmet restaurants to the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, the ministry said in statement. He described Sara as "the power behind the throne".

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The scandal is, however, unlikely the latest case could cause significant political damage to her husband, who is riding high in opinion polls despite the allegations against him. Both Sara Netanyahu and the ruling couple's eldest son, Yair, were questioned earlier in 2017 in relation to graft allegations.

Israel's attorney general is now reviewing the police recommendations and is expected to decide whether to indict Netanyahu in the coming months.

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