(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Ezra Saidoff, deputy director for operations at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residences, was questioned under caution by police in connection to a criminal investigation to the operation of the residences.
In July, Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein ordered a full criminal investigation into the operation of the prime minister’s residences, following several months of a preliminary state investigation. The decision effectively endorsed the recommendation of police commanders and State Attorney Shai Nitzan.
The various affairs include claims that Sara Netanyahu, the prime minister’s wife, may have improperly deposited bottles bought with state funds in exchange for NIS 4,000 in cash, and that she purchased furniture for the prime minister’s private residence in Caesarea using state funds. There have also been allegations that the residence hired an outside private contractor, Avi Fahima, to work on the residence, even though he’d been disqualified from working for the Netanyahus on the state’s dime because of a prior relationship with them.
The investigations were launched following a civil lawsuit by Meni Naftali, the prime minister’s residence former house manager, who alleged abuse at the hands of his employers. In addition, a State Comptroller report issued in February – just before the March 17 national election – ruled that the Netanyahu family’s use of funds raised criminal suspicions and was certainly an ethical violation.