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AFP
December 8, 2018

Sara Netanyahu grilled on new fraud allegation

World

AFP
December 8, 2018

JERUSALEM: Police were questioning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara on Friday on new suspicions of fraudulently misusing public funds, Israeli media reported. Public radio said that Sara Netanyahu arrived at the headquarters of the National Fraud Squad, near Tel Aviv, late in the morning.

There was no immediate confirmation from police, who have issued statements on previous interrogations of the Netanyahus on a raft of different graft allegations only after the day’s questioning was over. On Sunday, police recommended charging the premier and his wife for bribery and other offences. It was the third such recommendation against them in recent months. Netanyahu denied the accusations, but the cases against him have led to speculation that they could eventually force the long-serving prime minister to step down. Sara Netanyahu went on trial in October for allegedly using state funds to fraudulently pay for hundreds of meals. Haaretz daily said Friday that the latest allegation against her relates to fraudulent presentation to a government watchdog of receipts for charitable donations. It said that if the suspicions are verified, they would be added to evidence in her existing trial.

The case put forward by police on Sunday is a separate matter, which centres on regulatory benefits allegedly granted to telecommunications firm Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage of Netanyahu from a related media company. Police in February recommended indicting Netanyahu in two other corruption investigations. The attorney general must decide whether to file charges. In the findings announced Sunday following a long-running investigation, police said there was evidence to indict Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, breach of trust and unlawful acceptance. They recommended Sara Netanyahu go on trial for bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

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