Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, was convicted Sunday by the President of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, Avital Chen, of misusing public funds.
According to the plea deal, Netanyahu will pay a fine of NIS 5,000 and compensation to the state of NIS 45,000.
During the hearing, a representative of the State Prosecutor's Office said that in the negotiations for a plea bargain, the State Prosecutor's Office made significant concessions. However, he noted that Sarah Netanyahu's admission to a criminal offense expressed responsibility for her actions.
Attorney Yossi Cohen, a defense attorney for Netanyahu, said at the hearing: "they poured out my client's blood. NIS 20 million was spent in this investigation. They interrogated her as if she were the head of a criminal organization. What did they find at the end? A few trays."
"I find it difficult to say what I felt about the unwritten sentence that my client received, the worst kind of punishment a person can receive. The goal was to topple her husband and the government" Cohen added. "The State Comptroller decided to make an interim report on the prime minister's residence. This report was the signal for the hunt."
This morning, the High Court of Justice rejected the petition of journalist Uri Misgav against the plea bargain reached between the State Prosecutor's Office and the wife of the Prime Minister.
The judges ruled that Misgav did not exhaust the procedures required before filing the petition, and added that "the petition should be rejected also because it does not reveal any grounds for the intervention of this court with regard to the strength of the evidence held by the state or with regard to the level of punishment which the respondent (Sara Netanyahu) would have been expected to receive had it not been for the plea bargain."
At the end of the judgment, the judges noted, "It is not superfluous to say that we do not express any position regarding the plea bargain on its own merits, and the Magistrate's Court held that when deciding whether to approve or reject it, the court will transfer the plea bargain under its review, as required by law."