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Israel PM, Russia President to meet over Syria

09 October 2018

On Friday, police in Tel Aviv questioned Mr Netanyahu for several hours as part of a separate investigation into accusations of corruption against the politician.

It is not the first time Sara Netanyahu, an educational psychologist, has come before a court over alleged misbehavior.

Sara, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appears at a court hearing in the fraud trial against her, at the Magistrate court in Jerusalem October 7, 2018.

According to the charge sheet, the meals were ordered from a variety of well-known Jerusalem businesses, including an Italian restaurant, a Middle Eastern grill joint and a sushi establishment.

The Netanyahus have hit back, calling reports grossly unfair smear attempts; Sara Netanyahu has in the past said that her "blood has been spilled publicly".

If convicted, Sara could face up to five years in prison.

She was also charged with fraud and breach of trust and of aggravated fraudulent receipt of goods.

According to her charge sheet, she fraudulently obtained some 100,000 US dollars of public funds for hundreds of meals supplied by well-known restaurants and chefs to the official Prime Minister's Residency in Jerusalem while falsely stating that there were no cooks or staff at home. In 2016, a court ruled she abused a housekeeper and awarded the man $42,000 (£32,000) in damages.

In June, the court charged the wife of the Prime Minister of Israel on charges of embezzlement of budget funds for personal needs.

The indictment accuses Mrs Netanyahu of spending 360,000 shekels (about $100,000 USD) on catering services while at the same time employing a cook, in violation of the law, between 2010 and 2013. Also, the state should pay the bill for private guests of the Prime Minister and his or her spouse, if this is not a social or a family event, which involved more than 20 people. In recent months, one key former advisor to the Netanyahu family has turned state witness, raising the stakes against them. Another ongoing inquiry involves the prime minister offering a different mogul to push forward government policies favourable to his telecom business in exchange for positive coverage in his news site.

Israel PM, Russia President to meet over Syria