Attorney General indicts Sara Netanyahu for gourmet food fraud


The Israeli prime minister's wife has been charged with fraud in connection with the misuse of state funds to order gourmet meals from a restaurant to the PM's official residence in the so-called 'Residence Affair'.

The indictment against Sara Netanyahu comes months after Israel's justice ministry said she might face charges over the costly meals. Prosecutors say Netanyahu had the government pick up the tab - and falsely claimed there wasn't a cook at the residence.

Sara Netanyahu has been charged with using almost $100,000 of state money to cover unauthorized spending on high-end meals between September 2010 and March 2013.

The indictment said she acted to "fraudulently obtain state funding for various expenses for the accused and her family that were not supposed to be financed in this manner".

Now the prime minister's wife faces a trial.

Charges against Sara Netanyahu for these 15 instances were closed by Mandelblit as there was insufficient evidence to prove that she knew about Seidoff's and the others' actions.

"They're dealing with the most important things in the world", he told supporters at a rally, "the procedure for replacing a light bulb, trays of food, the cup of tea that was served to her father, a righteous man, on his deathbed".

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Israeli police have already recommended indicting Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases.

This isn't the first time the Netanyahus have been at the centre of gastronomic controversy.

Bibi denies the allegations and has called the investigations - get ready for it - a witch hunt.

It seemed unlikely the latest case could cause significant political damage to her husband, now in his fourth term as Israel's leader and riding high in opinion polls despite the allegations against him.

In one case, he and family members are suspected of receiving one million shekels ($285,000, 240,000 euros) worth of luxury cigars, champagne and jewelry from prominently wealthy figures in exchange for financial or personal favors.

In another, investigators suspect the premier of trying to reach an agreement with the owner of Yediot Aharonot, a top Israeli newspaper, for more favourable coverage.

According to the indictment, filed in the Jerusalem magistrate's court, Sara Netanyahu also spent $10,000 on private chefs between 2010-2013.