Is It in Public Interest for Gaydamak to Own Radio 99?

Attorney general orders Council to consider Gaydamak's history of criminal convictions in France

Attorney General Meni Mazuz has ordered the Second Broadcast Authority Council to consider whether it is in the public interest to allow Russian-Israeli billionaire Arcadi Gaydamak to acquire the controlling interest in Radio 99 Escape.

Mazuz's letter points out the potential obstacles in Gaydamak's resume.

Responding to a question from TheMarker, a Justice Ministry spokesman confirmed the directive to the Council. But he added that Mazuz had ruled last week, that Gaydamak's 1993 money-laundering conviction in France was not grounds for disqualification from owning the local radio station, because the statute of limitations applied.

However, the AG noted, when applying for the permit to buy Radio 99 Escape, Gaydamak had neglected to mention his criminal conviction in France, or that legal steps against him continue there.

Mazuz also instructed the Council to consider a French court ruling from April 2006, in which Gaydamak was disqualified from buying the French paper France Soir because of the suspicions against him.