Sara Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister's Wife, Is Charged With Fraud

Sara Netanyahu is accused of misusing around $100,000 in official funds for catering services

Sara Netanyahu is accused of misusing around $100,000 in official funds for catering services

Suspicions included the misuse of around $100,000 in official funds for catering services at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, the ministry said in a statement.

A former deputy director of the prime minister's residence is also charged in the case.

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been plagued by allegations of living a lavish lifestyle with taxpayers' money, squabbling with staff and meddling in state affairs.

Sara Netanyahu acted "to circumvent the rules and conditions" governing the official residence "in order to fraudulently obtain state funding for various expenses for the accused and her family that were not supposed to be financed in this manner", the indictment said.

The charges against Sara Netanyahu were not a surprise and her lawyers were reportedly in negotiations with prosecutors to try to reach a deal to avoid an indictment.

The prime minister has said the accusations against him and his wife are part of a media witch hunt. The newspaper, however, says there is no indication Netanyahu would step down over the charges against his wife. "The prime minister's wife, who is not a public servant, does not know the regulations, and passed a polygraph test when she was asked about this". Netanyahu denies all wrongdoing.

Microsoft acquires four more games studios
Mr Spencer also confirmed that the next generation Xbox console was in development, but gave no details on the future device. One of the biggest announcements of Microsoft's E3 conference was From Software's new game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice .

If convicted, she could face a maximum sentence of five years behind bars, though that seemed unlikely.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called the allegations against his wife absurd and unfounded.

Israeli police recommended in February that Benjamin Netanyahu face charges for accepting US$300,000 ($436,000) worth of bribes.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit first brought the case against Sara Netanyahu to court in September.

Thursday's indictment is the latest in a series of scandals the Netanyahus have faced in recent months.

Gil Hoffman, chief political correspondent of the Jerusalem Post, said the indictment was a "devastating blow" to the prime minister. Earlier, Israeli police questioned Netanyahu about the purchase of submarines in Germany. It follows claims that the news website Walla, owned by Bezeq Telecom, gave the government favourable coverage in return for regulatory benefits.

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