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MOSCOW, November 13, 13:44 /ITAR-TASS/. Businessman Sergei Polonsky wanted in Russia on fraud charges, might be released from Cambodia's Prey Sar prison within the next 24 hours, his lawyer Alexander Karabanov told the newspaper Izvestia on Wednesday.
Under local laws, the businessman cannot be kept under arrest for more than two days without a court's decision.
Polonsky was to appear at a Cambodian court hearing on Wednesday over Russia's request to extradite him. "At the meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Polonsky will be either handed over to Interpol or released. But when a Cambodian lawyer and Russian representatives drove up to the prison, they were not allowed to enter," the lawyer said.
According to Karabanov, he carefully studied Cambodian legislation which said Interpol's arrest warrant could only be extended to 48 hours.
On June 14, Russian investigators charged the businessman in absentia with fraud in the Kutuzovskaya Milya housing construction project, where more than 80 citizens were recognized as injured parties. The investigators said the Polonsky-controlled company had received about 5.7 billion roubles from investors but then suspended construction failing to meet the contract terms. The company administration then deliberately initiated bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings.
On September 26, the Russian Interior Ministry put Polonsky on the international wanted list.
Wednesday reports from Cambodia said the businessman had been running development projects in that country and that he had purchased eight islands in Cambodia.
Earlier this week it was reported that the Russian businessman was arrested by Cambodian police after several hours of chase in the jungle; he was unable to explain his attempt to flee.
"I don't know why I did it," the newspaper Cambodia Daily cited him on Wednesday. Later in the day, the businessman is to attend a hearing at the court in Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh over his extradition to Russia, where he is accused of fraud.