Fraud case against Sara Netanyahu goes to criminal arbitration

Sara Netanyahu at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2014. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sara Netanyahu at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., March 4, 2014. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – The fraud case against Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is going to criminal arbitration.

The trial, which is scheduled to open in January, will continue to move forward in parallel, at the District Attorney’s request, according to the Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

A successful arbitration will require Netanyahu to admit to some of the charges, something which so far has been vehemently opposed by her, according to Kan.

The trial on charges of fraud and breach of trust, dubbed the Prepared Food Affair, opened in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court last month.

Netanyahu is accused of ordering some $96,000 worth of private meals from high-end restaurants rather than using the residence’s cook to prepare meals.

The meals were ordered from gourmet restaurants between 2010 and 2013 in violation of rules that prevent those living in the prime minister’s residence from ordering meals from the outside when there is a cook on staff.

The investigation began in 2015 after the State Comptroller’s Office issued a report on the Netanyahu family household expenses.

The Netanyahus have denied any wrongdoing, and accused Israel’s public broadcaster of airing “fake news” and “a campaign of character assassination.”

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