Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara Netanyahu, was indicted for misusing state funds, Israel's Justice Ministry said Thursday. Her lawyers denounced the charges as "baseless and delusional".
Netanyahu has previously faced allegations of abusive behavior and living extravagantly, the AP noted. At the same time, the Jerusalem District Attorney made a decision to reject the claims of the Deputy Director of Operations and Assets in the Prime Minister's Office, Ezra Seidoff, and indict him as well.
"The Jerusalem district prosecutor a short time ago filed charges against the prime minister's wife", it said.
Prosecutors say they have found sufficient evidence to prove that Netanyahu was aware of the violation and took certain measures to conceal the operation by instructing resident staff to hide the fact that cooks were employed at the residence, according to Haaretz. This is in violation of rules that prohibit ordering meals from outside the residence when a cook is employed, which Netanyahu reportedly tried to hide.
Sara Netanyahu was charged with trying "to circumvent the rules and conditions" related to the prime minister's residence "in order to fraudulently obtain state funding for various expenses for the accused and her family that were not supposed to be financed in this manner".More news: Incoming Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri 'wants to sign Dries Mertens'
Update: Story has been updated to include details of corruption claims against the prime minister and his denial of allegations against the couple.
In February, police recommended Netanyahu be charged with bribery in two other cases. She has denied any wrongdoing, and the prime minister has said the family is the victim of a political witch hunt by leftists and the media. In recent months Netanyahu has climbed in the polls, shored up by President Donald Trump's relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem and the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, two decisions the Israeli leader championed. It follows claims that the news website Walla, owned by Bezeq Telecom, gave the government favourable coverage in return for regulatory benefits.
Last week he was questioned as a witness in a probe of alleged corruption over the state purchase of three German submarines.
Israel's attorney general is now reviewing the police recommendations and is expected to decide whether to indict Netanyahu in the coming months.