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MOSCOW, January 14. /ITAR-TASS/. The lawyer of Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky has claimed that his client is not on recognizance in Cambodia and that he can leave the country when he wishes.
"He was released from a pre-trial detention center unconditionally, so Polonsky has the right to travel to any country," lawyer Alexander Karabanov told reporters on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the appeals court under the Cambodian Prosecutor General's Office ruled to suspend the extradition of Russian citizen Polonsky in connection with the fact that the violence case against him opened in the town of Sihanoukville has not been dropped yet."
"The court has decided to free Polonsky from custody until the necessary legal proceedings in Sihanoukville have been completed. In Cambodia, he will remain on recognizance," a Russian diplomat said.An official at the Russian Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) told Itar-Tass that the Cambodian court "has indeed reviewed the case; it has not denied Russia's extradition request but postponed the consideration of the issue."
The PGO reminded that Cambodia was investigating a criminal case against Polonsky in connection with the incident involving sailors and that the incident in question was regarded as a quite serious crime. "In this connection, Polonsky's measure of restraint keeps; simply it has been changed to recognizance, and the trial has been postponed," the prosecutor said.
"Cambodia is likely to consider Russia's extradition request after completing the investigation of the criminal case against Polonsky," he added.
The incident occurred on December 30, 2012, as a ship was taking Polonsky and his two friends to the shore after a trip to islands. The sailors reported that the Russians who were all drunk, threatened the crew of six with knives and locked them in a cargo hold. Then they forced them to jump overboard.
During the probe into the incident, the injured parties withdrew their statements of claims in exchange for compensation. Under Cambodian law however, the decision on dropping criminal proceedings only rests with the court.
In October, Interpol issued a red notice for Polonsky on the strength of a request by the Russian Interior Ministry. In Russia, the businessman is a suspect in a criminal case over theft of 5.7 billion rubles.
Moscow's Tverskoi court charged him in absentia with grand fraud. The injured parties are 80 cheated participants in shared construction who invested in the Kutuzovskaya Milya housing project.