Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appeared in court on Sunday for the first hearing in the fraud trial against her.
According to the indictment filed in June, Sara Netanyahu, along with a government employee, fraudulently obtained from the state more than $100,000 for hundreds of meals supplied by restaurants, bypassing regulations that prohibit the practice if a cook is employed at home.
She has denied any wrongdoing. If convicted, Sara Netanyahu could face up to five years in prison.
The prime minister, who himself is embroiled in a series of corruption investigations has called the allegations against his wife “absurd and unfounded”.
It seemed unlikely Sara’s present legal woes would cause significant political damage to her husband, now in his fourth term as Israel’s leader and riding high in opinion polls despite the allegations against him.
The next national elections in Israel are scheduled for November 2019 but some political analysts predict a snap election will be held sooner.