Fraud trial of Sara Netanyahu postponed

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara Netanyahu stand next to the dedication plaque of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, after the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018. Picture taken May 14, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

The trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara, charged with fraud and breach of trust, has been postponed for three months, the court administration said Monday.

Sara Netanyahu’s trial, which was set to open at the Jerusalem magistrates court on July 19, will instead start at the same court on October 7, it said.

The delay was approved by judge Avital Chen “at the request of the state attorney’s office and the accused’s representative,” it said, without providing further details.

Sara Netanyahu, 59, was last month charged with misusing state funds to buy delivery meals costing $100,000 (85,000 euros) by falsely declaring there were no cooks available at the premier’s official residence.

From 2010 to 2013 Netanyahu, her family and guests received “fraudulently from the state hundreds of prepared meals (each including a number of courses) to the value of 359,000 shekels,” the indictment read.

Netanyahu, a high-profile presence at her husband’s side throughout his lengthy time in office, has denied any wrongdoing.

Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the charges as “absurd”.

Sarah Netanyahu’s legal woes come as the prime minister himself is under the microscope over a series of alleged corruption offences.