MOSCOW, October 17 (RAPSI) – Defense of Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky demanded the court to withdraw Sergei Gruzdev, a judge of the Moscow City Court, who is reviewing a motion by an investigator over extension of Polonsky’s detention, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.
Lawyer Aleksei Tsaplin reminded that previously the judge has already extended detention for Polonsky and has removed the defendant from the courtroom for inappropriate behavior. Defense of Polonsy believes that there is a personal conflict between the judge and the defendant.
The judge has dismissed the withdrawal motion, finding no evidence for personal motive in reviewing the extension of Polonsky’s detention.
Court hearing continues without Polonsky who was removed from the courtroom during withdrawal discussion after arguing with the judge.
According to investigators, Polonsky, aided by Alexander Paperno, Head of the Mirax Group Finance Department and Alexei Pronyakin, CEO of Avanta company, have defrauded participants of shared construction apartment projects of 2.6 billion rubles ($40 million), thus committing a serious crime.
Polonsky, who is the founder of Potok (formerly Mirax Group), a diversified corporation that has been involved in several large development projects, is deemed to cause damages in amount of 2.4 billion rubles (around $37 million) with regard to Kutuzov Mile and 256 million rubles ($3.9 million) with regard to Rublyovskaya Riviera development projects.
Other projects Polonsky has been involved in include Federation Tower in the Moscow International Business Center, office buildings Mirax Plaza, Poklonnaya 11 and Admiral, condominium developments Mirax Park, Golden Keys 1 and 2, and the Well House.
In May 2015, the Cambodian authorities, where Polonsky had been avoiding Russian prosecution, extradited him to Russia.
If convicted, Polonsky could face up to ten years in prison. Polonsky has pleaded not guilty.