MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti) – A fugitive Russian real estate mogul recently released from a Cambodian prison is not facing criminal charges there and is free to leave the South East Asian country, RAPSI legal news agency cited his lawyer as saying Tuesday.
Sergei Polonsky is wanted in Russia on embezzlement charges, but a Cambodian court rejected a Russian extradition request Monday, allowing the eccentric former owner of Mirax Group to leave jail.
Polonsky’s lawyer, Alexander Karabanov, said that a kidnapping case opened in Cambodia against Polonsky – for which he spent three months in a prison there early in 2013 – had been dropped after the two sides reached an agreement, and that Polonsky was at liberty to leave the country, RAPSI reported.
The comments by Polonsky’s lawyer appeared to contradict a statement released Monday by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, which said the extradition request had been rejected because the kidnapping case against him in Cambodia had not been closed and that the fugitive businessman was under oath not to leave the country.
Polonsky was arrested in absentia by a Moscow court in July on the embezzlement charges, and Russia's Interior Ministry said in a statement Monday that it had frozen Polonsky’s assets in foreign companies.
Russian investigators allege that Polonsky was involved in a $175 million fraud scheme in an upscale Moscow residential project, in which more than 80 people lost money. Polonsky denies the charges.