Sara Netanyahu Tells Investigators: I Didn't Know Caregiver Was Paid From State Funds

Parts of the transcripts of the prime minister's wife questioning by police were aired on Channel 2. When asked about payments made to an electrician for work on Yom Kippur, she said he made up the dates.

Sara Netanyahu at the Jerusalem Regional Labor Court in 2015.
Emil Salman

Channel 2 News aired parts of the transcript of the Sara Netanyahu's interrogation Friday. Police questioned Netanyahu, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for 11 hours Thursday over the so-called Prime Minister’s Residence affair.

Six months have passed since police recommended prosecuting Sara Netanyahu in the affair. The file was transferred to the Jerusalem District State Prosecutor’s Office in April, which in turn passed it back for completion of the investigation by the police.

According to the transcript, the interrogators asked Netanyahu about the work electrician Avi Fahima did for the Netanyahus for which he was overpaid and was called in to work on Saturdays and on Yom Kippur at the Prime Minister's home in Caesarea. Netanyahu said that "Avi Fahima worked for us between May and September 2009. Afterward we were told that we were not allowed to receive services [from him] during that period because he was supposedly a member of the Likud and supposedly our friend Ezra Saidoff asked him to provide receipts, and he wrote made-up dates."

The interrogators also confronted Netanyahu with the allegation that the caregiver who took care of her father was given a 2,000 shekel bonus from taxpayer money. Netanyahu said that "Ezra Saidoff wanted to give her a bonus. She was diligent and came specially." The interrogator told her that she knew that the money given to her was of state funds, but Netanyahu said "I didn't know. Ask Saidoff."

Attorneys Yossi Cohen and Amit Hadad, who are representing Netanyahu, said in response to her interrogation that "In contrast to what has been said in the media, the interrogation on the matter of Mrs. Netanyahu did not last 11 hours. Almost four hours were spent by the prime minister's wife reading the dozens of pages of testimony she presented to the investigators, to make sure that they truthfully represented word for word what she had said. We say with complete certainty: These are matters of minute importance, and anyways nothing can come of it – because there is nothing there."