שרה נתניהו
Sara Netanyahu
Photo: EPA
Sara Netanyahu

AG defends police probe of false statements in trial PM's wife

Mandelblit called claims by Netanyahu attorney 'nonsense' after Cohen said the AG usurped the power of his office to target prime minister and his family

Associated Press, Ynet |
Updated: 05.31.20 , 23:32
Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit called allegations by the attorney for Mrs. Sara Netanyahu that he enslaves the police and prosecution in his obsessive pursuit of the PMs family – nonsense.

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  • The AG's office issued a statement saying that the evidence that prompted the latest investigation was presented to law enforcement one year ago and investigated.
    שרה נתניהושרה נתניהו
    Sara Netanyahu
    (Photo: EPA)
    "The prosecution informed the court in an ongoing civil case (regarding the employment conditions in the Prime Minister's Residence,) that information pertaining to the testimony of witnesses in the case is under review and therefore asks the court to delay proceedings," the statement read.
    Police investigators on Sunday said they were probing whether two employees at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s official residence gave false testimony in a civil case against his wife, Sara Netanyahu — reportedly in order to help her fend off accusations of mistreating a housekeeper.
    Sara Netanyahu faces a civil lawsuit from former employee Shira Raban, who claims the premier’s wife mistreated her during a brief stint working at the residence. Raban seeks $63,000 in damages over alleged mistreatment and harassment.
    Israeli police confirmed an investigation “is being conducted with the approval of the Attorney General and the supervision of the State Attorney’s Office.”
    שירה רבן בדיון בתביעה נגד שרה נתניהו בבית הדין האזורי לעבודה בירושליםשירה רבן בדיון בתביעה נגד שרה נתניהו בבית הדין האזורי לעבודה בירושלים
    Shira Raban in court where she is suing Sara Netanyahu
    (Photo: Ehud Tsoigenberg )
    They gave no further details. But Channel 12 said two other employees at the residence were allegedly pressured to give false testimony in Sara Netanyahu’s favor.
    The announcement came just a week after Benjamin Netanyahu became the first sitting prime minister to stand trial on corruption charges, a case that has deeply divided the country. Netanyahu opened the trial with renewed attacks on the media, prosecutors and police, accusing them of attempting to depose him. He has denied any wrongdoing.
    A lawyer for the prime minister, Yossi Cohen, accused Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit of “manipulating the police for an obsessive and systematic chase after the Netanyahu family in an attempt to topple the prime minister of Israel.”
    Netanyahu and his wife have a reputation for leading indulgent lives at public expense, in stark contrast with most Israelis. Sara Netanyahu has been accused of excessive spending and abusive behavior toward her staff.
    Last year, a Jerusalem court ordered Sara Netanyahu to pay a fine of more than $15,000 for misusing state funds for expensive meals. In 2016, a court ruled she had mistreated a housekeeper and awarded the man $42,000 in damages.

    First published: 23:21 , 05.31.20
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