Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, who left Cambodia in April despite being on bail over an alleged assault in December, has returned to the country, according to Russian state media and two associates.
Mr. Polonsky, 40, was released on bail in early April—on the condition that he remain in the country. The Sihanoukville Provincial Court has not commented on whether he still faces trial over allegedly attacking six boatmen with a knife.
Once out of Cambodia, Mr. Polonsky made his way via Switzerland to Israel, where he apparently remained until last week and had been seeking citizenship.
Russia’s international radio service Voice of Russia reported on its website Saturday that Mr. Polonsky had returned to Cambodia, after Russian authorities attempted to extradite him from Israel in a separate case, in which he had been charged in absentia for fraud relating to a multimillion dollar property development in Moscow.
Voice of Russia quoted Diana Totosova, a lawyer for Mr. Polonsky, saying the Russian had flown to Bangkok and intended to travel on to Cambodia.
“Sergei Polonsky has left Israel because a situation threatening his safety has developed,” Ms. Totosova was quoted as saying. Ms. Totosova insisted that “Polonsky’s departure is not related to any court proceedings or the process of obtaining documents permitting the businessman to live and work in Israel.”
Sergei Vladi, a business associate and friend, confirmed that Mr. Polonsky is in Cambodia.
“[Mr. Polonsky is] planning to stay there and be in court when called,” Mr. Vladi said in an email.
“[He] was in Israel having medical treatment after jail in Sihanoukville,”
Mr. Polonsky—once a billionaire at the head of property developer Mirax Group—was arrested along with two younger Russian men after six Cambodians working on a boat for the Russians alleged that Mr. Polonsky had attacked them with a knife and forced them overboard in waters off Preah Sihanouk province.
The boatmen withdrew their complaint in January after a compensation payment totaling $20,000 was agreed, but Mr. Polonsky remained charged, and was only released on bail in April after reportedly paying $50,000 to the court.
Before his arrest, Mr. Polonsky inhabited a luxury resort on Koh Dek Kuol, a small private island he then leased along with the Doroshenko family, which owns the Snake House Hotel and Restaurant in Sihanoukville.
Ostap Doroshenko said Mr. Polonsky was no longer a business partner of his family, but said other members of Sihanoukville’s Russian community had reported that they had seen Mr. Polonsky since he returned to Cambodia on Saturday night.
“I’m not sure, but everybody says he’s here. His friend bought him to Cambodia from Pattaya [in Thailand] by boat,” Mr. Doroshenko said, declining to name the friend, or where the information came from.
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