Police question Sara Netanyahu for second time over residence controversy

The questioning is focusing on a number of allegations of misuse of state funds in the management of the residence, for the personal gain of the Netanyahu family.

January 4, 2016 18:10
1 minute read.
PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, board a plane

PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, board a plane. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

For the second time in five days police questioned Sara Netanyahu on Monday in connection with an investigation of a case that has been dubbed the Prime Minister’s Residence Affair.

On Thursday, the prime minister’s wife was queried for around five hours with one short break. Despite the very public questioning, the Justice Ministry has not confirmed that Attorney- General Yehuda Weinstein has approved opening a criminal investigation against Mrs. Netanyahu.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

The questioning is focusing on Furnituregate and Electriciangate – under the heading of allegations of misuse of state funds in management of the residence, for the personal gain of the Netanyahu family.

A separate affair known as Bottlegate appears to have dropped off the radar screen.

The investigation had focused on Ezra Seidoff, one of the top deputies in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. The Prime Minister himself has been cleared of suspicion in the case.

Furnituregate refers to suspicions furniture bought with state funds for the official public residence may have been moved to the prime minister’s private residence in Caesarea.

Electriciangate refers to suspicions that the prime minister’s residence may have used an outside contractor to sidestep budget limits for covering the residence’s electricity costs.

A State Comptroller report in February said that hiring private contractor Avi Fahima involved “misleading representations.”

Fahima had been disqualified from working on the Netanyahus’ electrical systems on the state’s dime because of his prior relationship with them, yet suspicions have been reported that he ended up doing the work under the guise of working for a different contractor.

Mrs. Netanyahu was expected to claim she used private funds for any issue where use of public money would be controversial and that she did not manage Fahima’s work after her husband’s reelection as prime minister.

Seidoff has said he coordinated all decisions about the residence with Mrs. Netanyahu.

The investigation is a spinoff of a civil lawsuit by Meni Naftali, former House Manager of the Prime Minister’s residence that has been moving forward since a State Comptroller report issued weeks ahead of the March 17 elections.

Related Content

Ron Huldai
August 14, 2018
Poll: Huldai will handily beat any other Tel Aviv mayoral candidate