Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife begins trial for misuse of state money

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Netanyahu's interrogation took place two days before the planned start of his wife's trial, who is accused of fraudulently obtaining funding from the prime minister's office to order hundreds of meals from restaurants, worth more than 350,000 new shekels (about 97,000 US dollars).

Sara Netanyahu allegedly misused around $100,000 (approximately Rs 68 lakh) of official funds for catering services at the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem.

The Netanyahus have denied any wrongdoing, and say they are the victims of a political witch hunt driven by a hostile media.

Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, has risen before a court Sunday, October 7, on charges of abuse.

Sara Netanyahu has in the past said that her "blood has been spilled publicly".

While the maximum penalty for break of trust and fraud is three and five years, respectively, prosecutors believe that Mrs. Netanyahu would only receive community service if convicted, according to Haaretz.

In the transcripts of the police investigations, which were published by the media, Sarah Netanyahu complains about the quality of food and employees roughly criticize the residence, using humiliating words.

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The case stems from a corruption investigation that started in 2015.

The meals were ordered from gourmet restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in violation of rules that prevent those living in the prime minister's residence from ordering meals from the outside when there is a cook on staff.

Sara married Benjamin Netanyahu in 1991 in a second marriage.

Sara Netanyahu, 59, has inspired a multitude of headlines in the past over what family spokesmen call an undeserved reputation for imperiousness.

There is also an ongoing inquiry into the prime minister's ties with local telecoms giant Bezeq and its largest shareholder, Shaul Elovitch.

The date for the meeting between Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin has yet to be decided, reports Efe news.

Elovitch was arrested in February along with six other people, including Nir Hefetz, a former media adviser to the Netanyahu family who has turned state witness. The police have recommended that Mr Netanyahu be indicted, though Israel's Attorney General has not yet decided how he will proceed. If Mr Netanyahu were to step down, polls show one possible replacement would be hard-right Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who has proposed annexing much of the occupied West Bank and openly opposes Palestinian statehood.

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