Text size

The six-year jail sentence the French court handed Arcadi Gaydamak in absentia yesterday is not the Russian-Israeli businessman's only criminal entanglement.

Earlier this month, he was indicted in Tel Aviv District Court on suspicions of money laundering about NIS 650 million through Bank Hapoalim.

Yesterday, the court approved an agreement that Gaydamak's lawyers had struck with the prosecutors, providing for a cash bond of $3.5 million to be deposited by November 23, in addition to $4 million previously posted to ensure Gaydamak's appearance in court.

The prosecution had originally demanded he post another $6 million.

Another $2.1 million seized by the state will be counted toward the bond.

Gaydamak is currently in Russia, which has no extradition agreement with France.

Complications

The case in Israel complicates matters for him, however, because Israel has an extradition treaty with France.

Gaydamak's potential absence from Israel could affect other aspects of the Israel case, in which Poalim Trust Services and its managers, Haim Shamir and Shlomo Recht, company legal counsel Ram Levy and the manager of customer services, Keren Laloum, also stand accused, along with Gaydamak's alleged front man, Nahum Galmor.

Lawyers for the other defendants could argue that Gaydamak's potential absence could harm their ability to defend their clients.

There may also be evidence that the prosecution could present only through Gaydamak's own testimony.