MOSCOW, April 25 (RAPSI) – Russia has no arguments left to continue to demand the extradition of developer Sergei Polonsky, who is wanted for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars, after Cambodia’s Supreme Court ruled against his extradition on Friday, attorney Alexander Karabanov told RAPSI.
“The Cambodian Supreme Court has upheld the January decision of the lower court according to which Sergei Polonsky cannot be extradited to Russia,” his attorney said.
“The court concluded that his actions could not be considered criminal. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office cannot contest Cambodia’s decision in any other institution.”
“The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office is planning to demand Polonsky’s extradition under a second case against him, but I think the outcome will be the same,” Karabanov said.
He said that Sergei Polonsky would make a deal with the authorities, just as he planned, and would resume his unfinished projects in Moscow. Polonsky will soon take a lie detector test, to be questioned on his charges. His answers will be formalized in a protocol and sent to Russia where they will be added to his case materials, Karabanov said.
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.