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Wife of Israeli prime minister goes on trial for fraud

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, appeared in court for the first hearing in the fraud trial against her, in which she is alleged to have misused state funds in ordering catered meals.

According to the indictment filed in June, Sara Netanyahu, along with a government employee, fraudulently obtained from the state more than $100,000 for hundreds of meals supplied by restaurants, bypassing regulations that prohibit the practice if a cook is employed at home.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing.

She was charged in June with fraud and breach of trust and of aggravated fraudulent receipt of goods. If convicted, Sara Netanyahu could face up to five years in prison.

Looking tense as she walked into Sunday’s hearing, she made no comment to reporters and sat on a bench behind her lawyers. Israeli media reports said the session would deal with procedural matters.

Sara Netanyahu’s lawyers contend the indictment does not hold up because the regulations for ordering meals were legally invalid and a household employee had requisitioned the food despite Netanyahu’s protestations.

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