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Report: Sara Netanyahu will be indicted over alleged misuse of state funds

The first family's lawyer branded the allegations 'ridiculous'

Israel's Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit will recommend an indictment be filed against Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a case involving the alleged misuse of public funds at their residences, Channel Two television reported on Monday.

Netanyahu's letter of indictment will reportedly include four separate charges.

The 58 year-old is suspected of using funds from the Prime Minister’s residence for private chefs, drawing from the public purse to pay a live-in caregiver for her father and employing an electrician by circumventing the required tender process.

Lastly, Netanyahu is suspected of transferring garden furniture paid for by the taxpayer to the family's private home in the ritzy seaside town of Caesarea.

In May 2016, Israeli media reported that police were in favour of filing an indictment against the 58 year-old. Channel Two added in Monday's report that in recent weeks prosecutors had come to a similar conclusion to the police.

The former child psychologist was questioned extensively by police over the allegations, including as recently as Wednesday by the national fraud squad offices in Lod.

The family denies any wrongdoing. Yossi Cohen, a lawyer for the Netanyahu's, branded the charges as "ridiculous".

“If the reports are correct, we are talking about ridiculous allegations," he reportedly said. "How far will the persecution of the Netanyahu family go? Until the cup of tea that an employee of the residence gave Mrs. Netanyahu’s 97 year-old father on his deathbed while he lived there?”

The investigation is based, in part, on the findings of a report issued in February 2015 by the State Comptroller, which found that Netanyahu had allegedly used state funds to pay for private expenses.

Police questioned the electrician Avi Fahima, a member of Netanyahu's Likud party, over the affair and suspicions that he was paid some $2,500 in state funds for work he did at the family's private residence.

The State Comptroller also suspects he was overpaid for the work.

In February 2016 a former caretaker at the official prime ministerial residence on Jerusalem's Balfour St was awarded 170,000 shekels in damages after he filed a lawsuit alleging he was abused by the first lady and her husband.


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