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Russian Tycoon Polonsky ‘Not Fugitive’ Claims Open Letter

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Astapkovich / Go to the photo bankSergei Polonsky
Sergei Polonsky - Sputnik International
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Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, wanted in Russia on fraud charges, on Monday published an open letter explaining his absence from Russia and querying the case against him, local media reported.

MOSCOW, July 29 (RIA Novosti) – Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, wanted in Russia on fraud charges, on Monday published an open letter explaining his absence from Russia and querying the case against him, local media reported.

The three-page letter, posted on Polonsky’s Facebook page, was addressed to the Moscow Mayor and the Investigative Committee.

In it, the former head of the Mirax Group construction firm explained that he is “not seeking to evade” justice, he is simply not able to leave Israel, where he is seeking citizenship, and encouraged the Investigative Committee to get in touch with him via email or phone.

Polonsky was charged in absentia last month as part of a criminal case involving the embezzlement of over 5.7 billion rubles ($176.2 million) from the participants in an up market cooperative residential construction project in Moscow.

However, in his open letter Polonsky claimed that, rather than being involved in fraud he had been the victim of theft, and that the investigation should recognize this.

Closing the letter, he asked for clarity on what “measures” would be taken against him if he were to return to Russia during the investigation.

On July 5, the RAPSI legal news agency reported that Russia’s Interior Ministry would seek Polonsky’s arrest if he fails to answer the investigator’s summons by August.

"If Polonsky fails to show himself in Russia by the end of July and continues to hide from the investigation, the Interior Ministry's Investigative Department will request the court to issue a warrant for arrest in absentia. If the court grants the request, we will put Polonsky on the international wanted list," RAPSI cited a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry as saying on July 5.

In the open letter, Polonsky slammed the move to have him placed on this international wanted list as being based on “fabricated materials.”

Polonsky was arrested with two Russian friends in Cambodia in December 2012 for allegedly attacking the six-person crew of a boat. Polonsky was released in April, but ordered not to leave the country. In June a British tabloid newspaper reported that he was at a luxury apartment in Israel.

Polonsky’s lawyer said that the Cambodian authorities had allowed Polonsky to travel to Israel for medical treatment.

Earlier in July, Polonsky’s lawyer confirmed that her client is seeking citizenship in Israel, and that this is unconnected with the case against him in Russia.

 

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