Police recommend charging Gaydamak for threats on TV

Israel Police recommended that state prosecutors launch an investigation into billionaire Arkadi Gaydamak, whom they accused of "threatening law enforcement employees" during an interview aired Saturday on Channel 2. "The material has been sent on to the state prosecutors, along with our stance," the police said. "We regret the threatening and disparaging style of Mr. Gaydamak, which recalls regimes that are strangers to democracy. Mr. Gaydamak's desperate attempt to threaten law enforcement officials, in order to rescue himself from the threat of justice, from criminal law, is destined for failure, and cannot weaken the police in its consistent war on crime," the police said. Gaydamak has faced a long-standing police investigation into allegations of money laundering. He was last questioned in mid-May at the Serious and International Crime Unit's (SICU) Petah Tikva Headquarters. Gaydamak vehemently denies reports that in 2000, he transferred nearly half a million shekels out of a Bank Hapoalim account as part of a larger money laundering scheme. Responding to the police statement, Gaydamak said, "For many years I've been the subject of completely baseless persecution and harassment, exercised by a few police officers from the SICU." Citing cooperation between the SICU and "criminal informers," Gaydamak added that the police attempted to "illegally provide information on my bank account in Israel." Gaydamak blasted the police for failing to indict him or present evidence of wrong-doing. "For many years I have been claiming justice and I'm saying that in our country, a few people with police uniforms have completely forgotten all responsibility and feel that everything is permitted."