The prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, has accused Prime Minister’s Residence employees of lying to the detectives investigating her alleged misuse of state funds.
A police investigator told Netanyahu that one of the cooks at the residence, Etti Haim, had told police that Netanyahu had tried to hide the fact that she was a cook and not a cleaner, according to a transcript of her testimony to police that Channel 10 News publicized on Sunday night. “She’s a repulsive liar, one of Meni Naftali’s garbage pail kids," responded Netanyahu, referring to the residence's former chief caretaker. "She’s a shitty cook.”
Netanyahu accused the cook of making up "stories about me," according to the report. "Everything she said about me is lies and falsehoods. She also once claimed that the prime minister liked her food, and that’s a lie.” Later the detective asked if Meir Cohen, one of the residence employees, lied when he said that Sara had told him to hide the fact that the cook was employed. “I don’t know if he lies,” Netanyahu responded. “I didn’t tell Meir ‘hide this.’”
“I worry about state funds a lot more than other prime ministers of the State of Israel and caretakers," asserted Netanyahu, according to the transcripts. "Meni Naftali wasted state funds like crazy.” The detectives asked Netanyahu to explain why food was ordered in to the residence even though cooks were employed, and Netanyahu said: “It’s a lie. An absolute lie.” The detective retorted, “We are giving you statements for you to respond to them, not for you to speak harshly and react the way you’re reacting.”
Channel 10 News reported over the weekend that Netanyahu had told police that policy changes regarding the employment of waiters at the Prime Ministers's Residence were aimed at her family. “I didn’t know conditions had changed, I say there’s discrimination if they changed," Netanyahu reportedly told the detectives. "You are discriminating against us.” She stressed, "The change, that during the Netanyahu era there shouldn’t be waiters, stemmed from an evil desire by office employees or whoever decided on the rule to screw Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
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According to the indictment filed against Netanyahu last month, the prime minister’s wife instructed employees to order catered meals from high-end restaurants worth 360,000 shekels (currently $99,000) between September 2010 and March 2013, although meals were not supposed to be ordered in because the residence employed a cook. The restaurants from which the Netanyahus reportedly ordered meals included Little Italy, Cavalier, Betzalim Ve’Te’enim, Machneyuda, Safra, Hamotzi and the Sheraton Plaza. Orders cost minimally hundreds of shekels and in some cases the tab reached thousands of shekels.