PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife goes on trial for fraud

PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife goes on trial for fraud

Accused: Sara Netanyahu arrives for her fraud trial in Jerusalem. She has denied the charge, and the prime minister has said the family is the victim of a political witch hunt by political opponents seeking to depose his government.

She was charged in June with fraud and breach of trust and of aggravated fraudulent receipt of goods.

In the latter case, the wife of the Israeli Prime Minister can spend in prison till five years, however, this verdict seems unlikely.

Her lawyers previously argued that she was oblivious about household regulations.

The session, however, dealt mainly with procedural matters.

Netanyahu said he had spoken with Putin and the two agreed "to meet soon in order to continue the important inter-military security coordination".

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The indictment is one of a series of scandals swirling around the prime minister and his family that threaten to solidify their reputation as overindulgent and out of touch with the Israeli people. She was not asked to enter a plea.

Netanyahu has long faced allegations of extravagant spending and abusive behaviour.

In addition, Sara used state funds to pay waiters to serve the meals on weekends and during private events, according to prosecutors, who said the hand-picked waiters were registered as "extra manpower" or "cleaners" to hide the fact that they were being illegally employed.

On Friday, the prime minister was questioned by police investigating two cases in which he is accused of corruption, Israeli media reported. In 2016, the court has recognized Sara Netanyahu is guilty of the humiliation of one of the employees, whereby it was forced to pay 42 thousand dollars compensation. In them she complains about the quality of the food served at the prime minister's residence and uses expletives to describe the staff.

So far, Sara's present legal woes have not politically damaged her husband, now in his fourth term as Israel's leader and riding high in opinion polls despite the allegations against him. Both he and Sara Netanyahu say the charges are politically motivated and fabricated by a hostile media.

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