A former employee of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's wife Sarah, who sued the Netanyahu family in 2014, is now coming to its defense in the wake of her latest media scandal: "bottlegate."
Victor Saraga, who served as Sarah Netanyahu's driver for five years, signed a statement Saturday entitled "The Truth Behind the Slanders against the Netanyahu Family," Channel Two News reported.
Saraga recently sued the Prime Minister's Residence for degrading treatment and received a settlement of 150,000 shekels ($37,500)
However, in this deposition, circulated by the law firm Avitan Ben Shimol, Saraga sided with the Netanyahus, stating, "My client cannot stand by, despite no longer working at the Prime Minister's Residence, and must tell the real story."
Haaretz reported last week that during her husband's second term as prime minister from 2009 to 2013, Sarah Netanyahu collected a vast amount of empty bottles bought by the premier's office and returned them to supermarkets, pocketing the money herself.
Over several years, the Netanyahus, through this practice, earned at least 4,000 shekels of what should have been public money, the report said.
According to Saraga, however, after years of empty bottles being thrown in the trash at the Prime Minister's Residence, it was decided to recycle the empty bottles in order to protect the environment.
Saraga added that he gathered the bottles for recycling, and "all funds received from the delivery of the bottles remained [in my client's care], and the petty cash was used for the purposes of the Prime Minister's Residence and its employees" his lawyer's affidavit states.
In the statement, Saraga's attorney stresses on his behalf "that in all the years my client worked at the Prime Minister' Residence, he was the only one who handled the bottles, and in fact proceeds never reached the hands of Sarah Netanyahu."
Netanyahu and the Prime Minister's Residence are also accused of spending around 100,000 shekels ($25,000) on alcohol over the past two years.