Reuters reports Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, appeared in court on Sunday for the first hearing in the fraud trial against her, in which she is alleged to have misused state funds in ordering catered meals.
According to the indictment filed in June, Sara Netanyahu, along with a government employee, fraudulently obtained from the state more than $100,000 for hundreds of meals supplied by restaurants, bypassing regulations that prohibit the practice if a cook is employed at home.
Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.
She was charged in June with fraud and breach of trust and of aggravated fraudulent receipt of goods. If convicted, Sara Netanyahu could face up to five years in prison.
Sara Netanyahu’s lawyers contend the indictment does not hold up because the regulations for ordering meals were legally invalid and a household employee had requisitioned the food despite Netanyahu’s protestations.
The prime minister, who himself is embroiled in a series of corruption investigations, has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded.
Sara Netanyahu, 59, has inspired a multitude of headlines in the past over what family spokesmen call an undeserved reputation for imperiousness.
The next national elections in Israel are scheduled for November 2019, but some political analysts predict a snap election will be held sooner.
Source: Palestine Chronicle