Indictment implicates PM’s wife in offenses blamed on Saidoff

Sara Netanyahu said to have had a direct hand in misdemeanors originally solely attributed to former deputy director-general of the Prime Minister's Office

Binyamin and Sarah Netanyahu

Tova Tzimuki, Yael Freidson and Roi Rubinstein report in YNET, “Sara Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, who was indicted on Thursday in the “Residence Affair” for misusing state funds for prersonal purchases, was also charged of misdemeanors that were attributed exclusively to her former deputy director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office Ezra Saidoff, a closer examination of the indictment reveals. In a major breakthrough in the protracted investigation against the prime minister’s wife, Mrs. Netanyahu was indicted at the Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court for fraudulently obtaining benefits under aggravated circumstances, fraud and breach of trust.”

“She is suspected of ordering private meals worth some NIS 350,000 (roughly $96,600) from high-end restaurants with the state footing the bill, despite the fact that a cook had been hired to prepare the meals at the residence. According to the indictment, from the beginning of September 2010 at the latest and until March 2013, Sara Netanyahu acted in conjunction with Saidoff to create a false impression according to which no cook was employed at the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem.”

“Another indictment was filed Thursday with the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court by the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office against the suspended Saidoff, who was charged with fraudulently obtaining benefits under aggravated circumstances, fraud and breach of trust, as well as falsifying documents in three different affairs at the Prime Minister’s Residence. According to the indictment, Mrs. Netanyahu instructed former Prime Minister’s Residence caretaker Meni Naftali, along with residence employee Meir Cohen, to hide from the accounting and administration officials in the PMO the fact that cooks were employed at the official residence. The cooks were said to be “cleaners”, “general workers” or given other false job titles.  Thee indictment emphasizes Sara Netanyahu’s involvement in the hiring of workers at the Prime Minister’s Residence.” (more…)

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