London court to examine mogul Polonsky’s lawsuit against renown lawyer
MOSCOW, May 23 (RAPSI, Maria Zuyeva) – The London-based High Court of Justice of England and Wales has accepted a lawsuit from Russian business person Sergei Polonsky, now staying in Cambodia, against his former lawyer, Alexander Dobrovinsky, Polonsky’s defense attorney Alexander Karabanov told RAPSI on Friday. The lawsuit concerns the sale of the Potok company, formerly known as Mirax group.
According to Karabanov, Dobrovinsky had received a power of attorney from Polonsky, allowing him to sell the Potok company, and that he had assured Polonsky that business person Roman Abramovich would likewanted to buy it. In his words, the document stipulated encumbrances during the sales transaction, including the resolution of all problems with those involved in participatory construction.
In November 2013, Dobrovinsky said Polonsky had sold Potok to companies affiliated with Roman Trotsenko. Karabanov’s press service reported that the company had been sold under pressure for $100 million, or three to four times less than its real book value. Karabanov also noted that the claims of shareholders had not been settled, and that the agreement’s terms had been violated. But However, he said Trotsenko was likely to be an honest buyer.
In early April, the media said Polonsky’s lawyers had started filing a malpractice lawsuit against Dobrovinsky with the High Court of Justice. The court has started examining the lawsuit, Karabanov noted. The document demands that the defendant compensate Polonsky for $13.5 million and reinstate the terms that have been violated, Karabanov added.
In turn, Dobrovinsky told RIA Novosti that Polonsky had, indeed, filed a lawsuit with the High Court of Justice, which, in his opinion, will clarify all issues.
Polonsky spent three months in a Cambodian prison last year on kidnapping charges. The Cambodian police arrested Polonsky, Konstantin Baglay and Alexander Karachinsky on December 31, 2012, on charges of having inflicted harm on the crew of a ship heading back to Sihanoukville from nearby islands. Prosecutors maintained that, while in a state of intoxication, the men threatened the crew with knives, locked them in a hold, and then forced them to jump overboard. Later, the mogul and his friends were released.
After receiving bail, Polonsky fled to Israel, where he sought citizenship, supposedly in a bid to shield himself from extradition to Russia.
He was again detained in Cambodia in November 2013 at the request of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, which seeks his extradition. Polonsky was charged in absentia last July as part of a criminal case involving the embezzlement of over 5.7 billion rubles (over $159 million) from the participants in the up-market Kutuzovskaya Milya condominium project in central Moscow.
In March 2014, Polonsky was officially charged with embezzling over 150 million rubles ($4.2 million) from Rublyovskaya Riviera residential construction project participants in 2008. Investigators believe that he stole the money from future property owners who invested in the project in Moscow via Mirax Build, a subsidiary of Mirax Group.
In 2008, Forbes ranked Polonsky Russia's 40th richest man with a $4.35 billion fortune. His property development company Mirax Group went bankrupt during the global economic crisis.