Probe into Israeli PM's spending amid misuse claims

Benjamin Netanyahu kisses his wife Sara after exit poll figures in Israel's parliamentary elections late on March 17, 2015 in Tel Aviv (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana) (AFP/File)

Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel's attorney general has ordered an inquiry into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spending, a justice ministry official said on Tuesday, amid reports of alleged misuse of public funds.

Netanyahu and his wife Sara came under the spotlight ahead of his reelection in March over her alleged pocketing of public cash by collecting deposits on empty bottles, and payment for maintenance at their private residence.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ordered the inquiry on Monday, the justice ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity, following a preliminary probe launched in February.

The inquiry will examine allegations that the Netanyahus sent furniture bought for the premier's official Jerusalem residence to their holiday home in Caesarea, and that they used public money to pay an electrician to work at that property.

It will also look into reports that Sara Netanyahu pocketed at least $1,000 from the deposits on empty bottles returned from the official residence during the premier's previous term in office.

The Netanyahus have dismissed the allegations, widely circulated in the local media, as a smear campaign.