Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara to be indicted for using public funds for personal expenses, say reports

Attorney General's office expected to move against Sara Netanyahu in more bad news for the couple after Israeli Prime Minister's ex-aide agrees to testify against him

Tuesday 08 August 2017 10:03 BST

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, could be indicted by the attorney general’s office within days, according to new reports circulating in Israeli media.

Police recommended that Ms Netanyahu be indicted over the alleged spending of public funds at the couple’s private home earlier this year.

After two years of investigations – and a lengthy final interrogation by Israel’s national fraud squad last week – it is expected that Attorney General Avichai Mandelbilt will accept the police’s recommendation, Israel's Channel 2 reported.

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The news comes on top of what has been a bad few days for the Netanyahus after the premier’s former chief of staff Ari Harow agreed to testify against his former boss as part of two ongoing investigations into allegations of corruption.

Mr Harow, a long time friend and loyal supporter of both Mr Netanyahu and his Likud party, struck a deal to turn state's witness on Friday.

The move has widely been seen as a turning point in the investigations against the prime minister.

The expected indictment also comes the same day the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Mr Netanyahu must disclose his phone calls with US businessman Sheldon Adelson - from whom it is alleged he received lavish gifts.

“We completely reject the unfounded claims made against the Prime Minister,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office on Friday said.

“The campaign to change the government is underway, but it is destined to fail, for a simple reason: there won't be anything because there was nothing.”

Police first talked to Mr Netanyahu at his Jerusalem home on 1 January as part of a huge corruption sting involving more than 50 influential Israeli business leaders and other public figures.

It is alleged that he received lavish and “inappropriate” gifts from wealthy supporters such as cigars and champagne, and offered commercial favours to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper owner Arnon Mozes in return for positive coverage.

Ms Netanyahu has been variously accused of allegedly using money set aside for the Prime Minister’s official residence for furniture and improvements to the pair’s private home, paying for her elderly father’s care, inflating dinner party numbers to hire private chefs, and pocketing 23,000 shekels (£4,800) in recycling refunds.

If Mr Mandelblit and State Attorney Shai Nitzan accept the case, a hearing and issuing session as well as other proceedings are expected to take several months to complete.

The Netanyahus have repeatedly denied all allegations of wrong-doing made against them.

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