MOSCOW, November 14 (RIA Novosti) – The wife of disgraced Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky was briefly detained by prison guards while visiting her husband’s Cambodian jail Thursday, a lawyer said.
“Polonsky’s wife Olga was detained at the Cambodian prison and placed in a detention center together with local people,” said Polonsky’s lawyer in Russia, Alexander Karabanov.
Cambodian police confirmed the detention, saying that the woman had been allowed to enter the prison “as an exception” and had been detained when the group of Russian, Cambodian and foreign journalists accompanying her started taking photos and filming inside the prison without permission.
Guards detained the whole group “in order to explain prison rules to them,” and would “probably ask them to delete” the photo and video materials, said the police official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The group was released soon afterward.
Formerly one of Russia’s richest businessmen, Polonsky is wanted in Russia over an alleged 5.7 billion-ruble ($175 million) embezzlement scheme that targeted investors in an upscale residential project in Moscow. The businessman denies the embezzlement charges.
Cambodian prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Polonsky last Friday at Moscow’s request. He was detained on Monday on a Cambodian island and is now being held in Prey Sar, the country’s largest prison, just outside the capital Phnom Penh.
Cambodian prosecutors said Wednesday that the documents Russia had sent were “enough to start the extradition procedure.”