TEL AVIV – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara is expected to defend herself against an indictment charging that she spent hundreds of thousands of shekels on gourmet meals by claiming that the cooks employed at the prime minister’s residence were unskilled, as evidenced by a letter written by a former cook apologizing for serving a dish with shards of glass in it.
On Thursday, Sara Netanyahu was indicted along with Ezra Saidoff, a former deputy director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, for fraud and breach of trust over having the state foot the bill to the tune of some NIS 359,000 ($100,000) in high-end meals between 2010 and 2013, transgressing regulations banning the ordering of takeout while a chef is employed at the official residence.
The letter is written by an employee who handled a number of roles at the residence and was not an official chef, the Netanyahus have claimed.
“To Mrs. Sara Netanyahu, I don’t even know where to begin the letter. I just want to ask for forgiveness,” the letter said to have been written by the staffer begins.
“What happened yesterday was very sad for me. Yesterday was very stressful at work. I simply have no idea how a shard of glass got into the sauce. The jar was in a bag and then I picked it up, and it was broken. So I took the clean part and put it in the sauce,” she said.
“How the glass got to the sauce, I don’t know. This is a terrible mistake. I am very incapable of hurting anyone, certainly not you. I really feel that you are my family. I ask for a thousand pardons. I have no words to say. I’m taking responsibility for my mistake. Sorry,” the employee concluded.
Netanyahu associates released the letter in a bid to back Sara’s claim to the police that she had no choice but to order food from outside since the official residence did not have competent in-house cooks in its employment.
On Friday, Channel 2 revealed that state witness and Netanyahu’s former media adviser Nir Hefetz said in his testimony that Sara often had him approve expenses at the family’s private residences.
“She wanted to replace all the windows at the Caesarea home, because someone might shoot the prime minister,” Hefetz said. “She wanted to replace all the plaster at the villa, asserting that a piece of plaster could fall on the prime minister’s head.”
Netanyahu on Friday slammed the indictment filed against his wife, saying it was a “new level of absurdity.”
“For the first time in history, an indictment is filed against the wife of a leader over food and takeout,” Netanyahu said in a video posted on his Facebook page.