Israel PM's wife convicted of misusing public funds

By AFP
Published: June 16, 2019
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US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sit during a reception held at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, ahead of the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem, May 13, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife Sara Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sit during a reception held at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, ahead of the moving of the US embassy to Jerusalem, May 13, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

JERUSALEM: An Israeli court on Sunday convicted the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of fraudulently using state funds for meals, under a plea bargain which saw her admit to lesser charges.

Sara Netanyahu was found guilty of exploiting the mistake of another person and ordered to pay a fine and compensation, in a deal approved by Jerusalem magistrates’ court justice Avital Chen.

Netanyahu was also fined 10,000 shekels ($2,800) and ordered to reimburse the state a further 45,000 shekels, the latter of which she will pay in nine installments, at her request.

“The deal reached between the sides is worthy and appropriately reflects the deeds and their severity on the criminal level,” Chen said in his ruling.

The 60-year-old, a high-profile presence at her husband’s side throughout his long tenure in office, was initially charged in June 2018 with fraud and breach of trust for buying catered meals despite the presence of a cook at the minister’s official residence.

The amended indictment, approved on Sunday, dropped the graft charges.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Menon
    Jun 16, 2019 - 6:11PM

    Another nothing verdict.

    When a public official, their wife, siblings, and relatives commit a crime the punishment must be a minimum of five years in prison because they violated the public trust.

    The ability to negotiate lesser punishment (called plea-bargain in the US) must be erased from the judiciary and national law of every country. This ability has eliminated the respect as well as fear of breaking the law.Recommend

  • Menon
    Jun 16, 2019 - 6:11PM

    Another nothing verdict.

    When a public official, their wife, siblings, and relatives commit a crime the punishment must be a minimum of five years in prison because they violated the public trust.

    The ability to negotiate lesser punishment (called plea-bargain in the US) must be erased from the judiciary and national law of every country. This ability has eliminated the respect as well as fear of breaking the law.Recommend

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