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Moscow court sanctions arrest of businessman Sergei Polonsky in absentia

August 13, 2013, 12:09 UTC+3
The businessman had asked the Israeli Interior Ministry to grant him citizenship in order to avoid criminal prosecution in Russia
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Photo ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

Photo ITAR-TASS/Mitya Aleshkovsky

MOSCOW, August 13 (Itar-Tass) - Moscow's Tverskoi district court on Tuesday sanctioned the arrest in absentia of Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky accused of serious fraud.

The investigator lodged the petition to arrest Polonsky two weeks ago. The businessman, wanted by Interpol is currently outside Russia.

On Tuesday, investigator Oleg Silchenko stated that the businessman had been put on the international wanted list on July 25, and that Polonsky had asked the Israeli Interior Ministry to grant him citizenship in order to avoid criminal prosecution in Russia. Polonsky's lawyer Diana Tatosova said Polonsky's request to issue him an Israeli passport had nothing to do with his avoiding responsibility in Russia.

On June 14, Russian Interior Ministry investigators charged Sergei Polonsky in absentia with fraud in the project to build the Kutuzovskaya Milya residential area. More than 80 citizens were recognized as injured parties. The investigators said the Polonsky-controlled company had received some 5.7 billion rubles from investors but later suspended construction failing to meet the contract terms. The company's administration then initiated bankruptcy proceedings and liquidation.

Earlier Polonsky placed an address to the Interior Ministry's investigation department on Facebook stating that he had no intention to escape. He noted however that he had to stay in Israel. In his view, the charges within the Kutuzovskaya Milya case should be changed from fraud to "theft of money belonging to Polonsky's company by a group of persons."

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