Middle East

Sara Netanyahu: Israeli PM's wife 'agrees plea bargain'

Sara and Benjamin Netanyahu celebrate at Likud's headquarters after Israel's general election in April 2019 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Benjamin Netanyahu says his family is the victim of a political "witch-hunt"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife has reportedly agreed a plea deal with prosecutors over allegations she misused state funds.

Sara Netanyahu was charged with fraud and breach of trust last June.

She was accused of spending $99,300 (£78,600) on outside catering while falsely declaring there were no cooks available at the PM's residence.

Israeli media say Ms Netanyahu has now agreed to reimburse the state $12,440 and pay another $2,770 as a fine.

She will also reportedly admit to a lesser charge of exploiting the mistake of another person.

The Netanyahu family and the justice ministry have so far not commented on the reported plea deal, which would have to be approved by a court.

But Mrs Netanyahu's lawyers described last year's indictment as absurd and delusional, and denied any wrongdoing.

They argued that she had not been aware of the procedures about outside catering, and that the meals had been ordered by the household manager and served to visiting dignitaries.

In February, Israel's attorney general informed Mr Netanyahu that he intended to indict him on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three other cases, pending a final hearing.

The final hearing, at which the prime minister and his lawyers will be able to argue against the allegations, is scheduled to take place in October.

Mr Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he is the victim of a political "witch-hunt".

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