Meridor faces ethics charges for Gaydamak role

Minister Dan Meridor charged Arcadi Gaydamak $600,000, plus a $5 million success bonus.

Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor and Haim Zadok & Co. Advocates managing partner Ilan Shavit will face disciplinary proceeding of the Israel Bar Association for writing an illegal fee contract with Arcadi Gaydamak. Meridor is an attorney and a former minister of justice.

The Bar Association Tel Aviv District's Ethics Committee made the decision by a two vote margin, after a stormy debate yesterday. Watchdog group Ometz - Citizens for Proper Administration, Judicial and Social Justice filed the complaint with the Bar Association in the matter.

The Ethics Committee decision will now be sent to the Bar Association Tel Aviv District's ombudsman, Adv. Amos Weisman, who will write a complaint that will filed with the district's disciplinary tribunal, headed by Adv. Zion Amir. Amir will probably chair the hearing.

It is not permitted to appeal an Ethics Committee ruling, or petition for legal proceedings. Meridor and Shavit have no recourse, except to ask the Ethics Committee to hold another hearing on the case, in the hope that the committee members will change their minds.

The draft fees contract that Shavit sent to Gaydamak for Meridor's services for "preparation and representation" was $600,000. A $5 million bonus was added to this sum "in the event of success"; i.e. closing the file against Gaydamak.

In December 2008, Meridor resigned from the Haim Zadok law firm and stopped representing Gaydamak, in order to return to politics and run in the Likud party primaries. He was replaced by Adv. David Libai as Gaydamak's counsel.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 24, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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