Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Netanyahu to meet with Putin after downing of Russian plane

Netanyahu to meet with Putin after downing of Russian plane

It is not the first time Sara Netanyahu, an educational psychologist, has come before a court over alleged misbehavior. In them she complains about the quality of food served at the prime minister's residence and uses expletives to describe the staff.

Israeli prosecutors say Sarah Netanyahu is accused of misuse of funds, paying almost 100,000 United States dollars for food deliveries.

In 2016, a court ruled that she had abused one of her housekeepers and was ordered to pay a fine of $42,000 (£32,189). There's no indication that the allegations against the prime minister or his wife are having an effect on voters, with Netanyahu gaining support in recent polls.

Wife of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara Netanyahu (center) sits in a courtroom in Jerusalem, Sunday, October 7, 2018. The woman was accused of fraud under aggravating circumstances, violating the public trust and forgery.

Avi Diskin, a professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that the corruption cases could in fact ultimately help Mr Netanyahu by "strengthening re-affiliations" with him. He characterised the allegations as a hit case against the Netanyahus that "will not hold water".

She smiled at her lawyers when entering the court and the session began with a hearing on whether the trial should be overseen by a panel of three judges instead of one due to the case's "public sensitivity".

In the latter case, the wife of the Israeli Prime Minister can spend in prison till five years, however, this verdict seems unlikely.

Police, meanwhile, interviewed Mr Netanyahu for the twelfth time last week as a suspect in his own corruption cases.

Elovitch was arrested in February along with six other people, including Nir Hefetz, a former media adviser to the Netanyahu family who has turned state witness.

Allegations against him include allegedly seeking a secret deal with the publisher of Israel's top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot to ensure positive coverage in return for pushing forward a law that would have limited the circulation of a rival.

There is also an ongoing inquiry into the prime minister's ties with local telecoms giant Bezeq and its largest shareholder, Shaul Elovitch.

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