Details from the investigation of Sara Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, were published on Channel 10 News over the weekend, including a quote where she compares herself to the former president Shimon Peres. “It is shameful that the Israeli police are investigating the prime minister as to what he is eating. President Peres had a million times more food that was of better quality and more tasty,” she was quoted as saying by The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication, Maariv, referring to allegations that the Netanyahus fraudulently obtained NIS 359,000 from the state for hundreds of prepared food orders while also employing a private chef.
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit filed an indictment last Thursday against the prime minister’s wife for fraud with aggravated circumstances and breach of public trust over the matter.From September 2010 until March 2013, Sara Netanyahu allegedly acted in coordination with then-Prime Minister’s Office deputy director-general Ezra Seidoff to solidify the misrepresentation that the Prime Minister’s Residence did not employ a cook, even though it did during that time.According to the indictment, she acted in such a way in order to circumvent and exploit regulations that state: “In a case where a cook is not employed in the official residence, it is permitted to order prepared food as needed.”In her hearings over the weekend, Sara Netanyahu blamed former Prime Minister’s Residence superintendent Meni Naftali for ordering large amounts of food to the Prime Minister’s residence.“Meni wanted there not to be any cooks, he wanted to fire our cook Ofra, so that prepared food would be ordered from outside,” she claimed. “He ordered many trays. I once went into the kitchen and saw piles of trays and asked Manny, ‘Who needs all this?’”“He answered me: ‘Do not worry, everything’s okay,’” the prime minister’s wife explained. Sara Netanyahu’s fraud trial is set for July 19, defying expectations as the trial was expected to be delayed until after the High Holidays in the Fall.On Friday, Channel 10 News already released quotes from the investigation.“People have made me look like a princess, but that is a complete lie,” she was quoted as saying then. “The food I eat at home is simple and modest. There is no fancy food, there is no request from the prime minister and his wife to eat like a prince and princess.”Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.
Israeli PM Netanyahu"s wife, Sara Netanyahu, charged with fraud, June 21, 2018 (Reuters)