(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
An NGO demanded on Sunday that Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit decide the fate of Sara Netanyahu in the Prime Minister’s Residence Affair now that a full year has passed since the police recommended she be indicted.
The Movement for the Quality of Government in Israel did not call for a specific result, indictment or closing the case, focusing on the importance of Mandelblit making the decision himself, lest “the public’s faith in law enforcement be harmed” from the time lag.
Also, the NGO said that when cases are closed after a case is dragged out for longer than a reasonable time, the public is more likely to suspect that improper considerations were at play.
The NGO specifically cited Mandelblit’s predecessor, Yehuda Weinstein, for dragging out the decision regarding a major case against Avigdor Liberman, which was eventually closed, partially because the health of certain witnesses deteriorated as time went on.
Netanyahu has already been questioned numerous times in the case, while the prime minister himself is not a suspect in this particular saga.
In April, Channel 10 reported and The Jerusalem Post confirmed, that the prosecution was leaning toward indicting Netanyahu.
In May 2016, the police recommended indicting Netanyahu for fraud and breach of trust charges related to using public funds for buying food, paying special chefs and costs for hosting private events.
The funds used are beyond what the state pays for a wide array of expenses of any prime minister, or what are considered normal for hosting ambassadors, ministers and foreign heads of state as part of that job.
The police also recommended indicting Netanyahu for her use of state funds to hire a caretaker for her ill father.
Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu arrive at court to testify in libel case on March 14, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)
Some of the allegations against Netanyahu stem from a February 2015 State Comptroller’s Report on a range of issues concerning the Prime Minister’s Residence, a report issued weeks before the last national election, and which was viewed at the time by the prime minister as a major threat.
Other allegations came as a result of a civil labor court suit by former Prime Minister’s Residence house manager Meni Naftali, who won an NIS 170,000 judgment against the Netanyahu family for poor treatment and failure to pay overtime.