MOSCOW, March 4 (RAPSI) - Cambodia to consider a request from Russia to extradite real estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky to face trial over fraud charges, TASS reported on Wednesday, citing Foreign Minister of Cambodia Hor Namhong.
The statement came following a meeting with Namhong’s Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.
Hor Namhong stressed that there was no extradition agreement between Russia and Cambodia. “We signed several extradition agreements with our neighboring states, but there is no such agreement with Russia,” he said. “However, currently we assume that the document will be signed.”
“Nevertheless, we will consider Russia’s request to extradite this individual,” the Cambodian minister assured. “I will discuss this issue with the government after I return to Cambodia.”
Polonsky is the founder of a multipurpose corporation, Mirax Group, which has carried out large development projects, including Federation Tower in the Moscow International Business Center, office buildings Mirax Plaza, Poklonnaya 11 and Admiral, condominium developments Fort Kutuzov, Kutuzovskaya Riviera, Rublyovskaya Riviera, Mirax Park, Golden Keys 1 and 2, and the Well House.
In June 2013, Russia’s Interior Ministry released a statement saying that Sergei Polonsky was charged in absentia and placed on the international wanted list for the alleged embezzlement of billions of rubles from investors in the Kutuzovskaya Milya and Rublyovskaya Riviera projects. In November 2013, he was arrested in Cambodia at Russia’s request, only to be released in January 2014.
On January 13, 2014 the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow seized the stock of foreign companies owned by Polonsky, who has assessed them at $100 million. The ruling came as an injunction in the embezzlement case in which Polonsky was arrested in absentia last year.
Regarding Russia’s previous extradition request, a Cambodian court ruled in late April 2014 that Polonsky could not be extradited because a criminal case had been opened against him in Cambodia.
Cambodian police arrested Polonsky, Konstantin Baglay and Alexander Karachinsky on December 31, 2012 for the alleged beating and holding of the crew of a ship that was taking them to Sihanoukville from some nearby islands.
Prosecutors maintain 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.
Under Cambodian law, this criminal case can only be terminated by court decision.
In 2008, Forbes ranked Polonsky Russia's 40th richest man with a $4.35 billion fortune. His Mirax Group, a property development company, went bankrupt during the global economic crisis.