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Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Wife Sara Netanyahu Convicted Of Misusing Public Funds

Written By Press Trust Of India | Mumbai | Published:

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  • An Israeli court on Sunday convicted the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara for fraudulently using state funds for meals
  • She was found guilty of exploiting the mistake of another person and ordered to pay fine and compensation, in a deal approved by Jerusalem magistrates' court justice Avital Chen
  • 60 year old Sara was initially charged in June 2018 with fraud and breach of trust for buying catered meals despite the presence of a cook at the minister's official residence

An Israeli court on Sunday convicted the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara, of fraudulently using state funds for meals, under a plea bargain which saw her admit to lesser charges.

Sara is by profession a child psychologist and she has two children with Netanyahu. 

Sara was found guilty of exploiting the mistake of another person and ordered to pay a fine and compensation, in a deal approved by Jerusalem magistrates' court justice Avital Chen.

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Netanyahu was also fined 10,000 shekels ($2,800) and ordered to reimburse the state a further 45,000 shekels, the latter of which she will pay in nine installments, at her request.

"The deal reached between the sides is worthy and appropriately reflects the deeds and their severity on the criminal level," Chen said in his ruling.

The 60-year-old, has a high-profile presence at her husband's side throughout his long tenure in office, was initially charged in June 2018 with fraud and breach of trust for buying catered meals despite the presence of a cook at the minister's official residence.

The amended indictment, approved Sunday, dropped the graft charges.

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As part of the deal, Netanyahu admitted she illegally ordered meals at a cost of some 175,000 shekels, the statement said.

According to the indictment, between 2010 and 2013, Netanyahu, her family and guests "fraudulently (received) from the state hundreds of prepared meals" ordered from a variety of Jerusalem businesses.

She has also faced accusations of mistreating staff, and in 2016 a court awarded some $47,000 in damages to a former housekeeper who accused a couple of repeated workplace abuse.

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Separately, Benjamin Netanyahu is facing possible indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the months ahead and is reportedly seeking legislation that would result in him being granted immunity. He is up for re-election again in September 17 polls, the second to be held this year after Netanyahu was unable to form a coalition following an April vote

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