Cooking-the-Books: Sara Netanyahu Determined to Muzzle out of 'Prepared Food' Scandal

Published August 7th, 2018 - 09:47 GMT
 Israeli Prime Minister B. Netanyahu with his wife Sara Netanyahu (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Israeli Prime Minister B. Netanyahu with his wife Sara Netanyahu (Shutterstock/File Photo)

Sara Netanyahu has asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to freeze the criminal case against her, Kan news reported Monday.

The request, submitted by Sara and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed that the actions of Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh provide a sufficient basis for a complete reinvestigation of the case.

The Netanyahus requested Mandeblit to delay the investigation of the prime minister because "in a democracy investigations must be conducted objectively, which is not the case in this instance," Kan reported.

The request also claims that Alsheikh plastered over accusations that private detectives were hired to follow police investigators working for the Lahav 433 unit — which is sometimes known as "Israel's FBI."

The police have rejected such accusations in the past.



In June, Mandelblit filed an indictment against Sara Netanyahu for fraud with aggravated circumstances and breach of public trust in the “Prepared Food Affair.”

In the Prepared Food Affair, the attorney-general alleged that from September 2010 until March 2013, Sara Netanyahu acted in coordination with then-Prime Minister’s Office deputy director-general Ezra Seidoff to present the false misrepresentation that the Prime Minister’s Residence did not employ a cook, even though it did during that time.

According to the indictment, the two made this misrepresentation to circumvent and exploit regulations that stated, “in a case where a cook is not employed in the official residence, it is permitted to order prepared food as needed.” The two hoped to obtain state funding both for the cook at the residence and for prepared food orders. In this way, the two allegedly fraudulently obtained from the state NIS 359,000 in hundreds of prepared food orders.

The indictment states that Netanyahu regularly pressured Seidoff, house managers and others to obtain items for the residence whether they were authorized by law or not. As a result of these pressures, Seidoff sometimes procured items, such as the additional unauthorized prepared food items, despite earlier attempts to explain to her that there was no basis for the state to pay for such items. Also, Netanyahu ordered Seidoff, Naftali and other workers not to reveal the fraud to others.

Further, in 15 instances, invoices to chefs who were brought in from outside were falsified in order to circumvent limits on how much could be paid toward outside-chefs. Seidoff directed the chefs, the house managers and Netanyahus' secretaries to falsify the invoices in these 15 instances.

Charges against Netanyahu for these 15 instances were previously closed by Mandelblit as there was insufficient evidence to prove that she knew about Seidoff's and the others' actions.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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