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Netanyahu's wife faces police over public funds probe: report

Sara Netanyahu visits police station over allegations she and her husband used public funds on private home improvements
Sara and Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife arrived at a police station on Thursday for questioning over allegations the couple used public funds on improvements to their private home, according to the AFP news agency.

Sara Netanyahu is to be questioned as part of an investigation over claims they spent the money on garden furniture and repairing electricals at their private villa in Caesarea.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the probe in July after claims made primarily by Meni Naftali, who had been fired as the prime minister's butler.

Among the allegations is that the Netanyahus sent garden furniture bought for the prime minister's official Jerusalem residence to the Caesarea holiday home.

They also allegedly used Avi Fahima, an electrician friend of the family and former member of the Netanyahu's Likud party central committee for "private" repairs at taxpayer expense, with the bills allegedly having been "artificially inflated".

A third claim involves accusations that Sara Netanyahu pocketed at least $1,000 from deposits on empty bottles returned from the official residence between 2009 and 2013, money that should have gone to the Treasury.

In 2013, Netanyahu reimbursed the state $1,000, but Naftali has said the figure should have been six times higher. 

The Netanyahus have dismissed the allegations, widely circulated in the local media, as a smear campaign.