Netanyahu’s wife probed over alleged state funds misuse

Israel’s first lady questioned by police over suspicions of using public funds for private expenses.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara Netanyahu
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his wife Sara, have long faced scrutiny over their spending [Gali Tibbon/AP]

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has been questioned by police over allegations of using public funds for private expenses.

Israel’s first lady arrived at the anti-corruption unit of the Israeli police in the central town of Lod, east of Tel Aviv, on Thursday, to answer questions on whether she used state funds to finance maintenance work and new furniture for the couple’s private home in the exclusive coastal city of Caesarea.


She is also suspected of having used taxpayers’ money to pay for her late father’s care while he was living at the official Jerusalem residence, according to a DPA news agency report.

Allegations over excessive lifestyle

The investigation follows a report by the state’s official watchdog that detailed large sums of public money the couple spent.

Just last week, Israeli media reported that the Netanyahus asked for state funds to cover the cost of food for Kaiya, their adopted dog which bit two guests at the prime minister’s Hanukkah party earlier this month.

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The Netanyahus have long faced scrutiny over their spending and accusations that their lifestyles are out of touch with regular Israelis.

The Israeli first lady has come under fire for her expensive tastes and alleged abusive behaviour toward staff.

The Netanyahus say they are the victims of a media witch-hunt and have denied any wrongdoing.

The prime minister says political opponents cynically target his wife as a way to get even with him.

Source: AP, DPA