Courts Ban Beach Sale in Latest Polonsky-Doroshenko Dispute

Officials in Preah Sihanouk province last week moved to bar prominent Russian businessman Nikolai Doroshenko from selling Sihanoukville’s Victory Beach after the Appeal Court ruled that he had violated a contract to transfer the property to fugitive Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky, court officials said Wednesday.

“We issued the injunction to ban Mr. Nikolai from selling the beach because he sold the investment project to Mr. Polonsky and received a deposit of $200,000, but took the project and tried to sell it to someone else,” Appeal Court Judge Sun Visal said at the court Wednesday, declining to comment further.

A lawyer for Mr. Doroshenko, 54, said Wednesday that he would ask the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to investigate the Appeal Court’s “irregular” handling of the case.

Mong Mony Chakrya, the director of the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court, said his officials had implemented the injunction on January 22 but declined to elaborate or answer further questions.

Police in Sihanoukville said they were not involved in the case.

According to Mr. Polonsky’s lawyer, Benson Samay, the injunction also extends to a building, pier and motorboat at Victory Beach.

Mr. Doroshenko’s lawyer, Sun Sam Ol, denied that his client breached any contract with Mr. Polonsky and complained that he was informed of the Appeal Court’s injunction just a day before it was issued.

“We plan to file a complaint with the ACU because we want lawmakers to understand the Appeal Court’s management, because it seemed to be irregular,” he said.

“I’m not accusing officials at the Appeal Court of corruption, but we can see that [the case] moved too fast,” he added.

The Victory Beach injunction is just the latest salvo in a string of legal battles between the former business partners, whose wealth, influence and eccentricities have made them figures of national interest.

In early December, the Russian rivals exchanged court complaints over Mr. Doroshenko’s claim that Mr. Polonsky, 42, ordered a hit on him that ultimately left his son Ostap with a broken jaw.

In the same month, the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court issued a notice ordering Mr. Polonsky, 42—who is wanted in Moscow on multimillion-dollar embezzlement charges—to vacate his private island off the coast of Sihanoukville, Koh Dek Koul. On December 23, the court charged Mr. Doroshenko, 54, with breach of trust for failing to hand over investment licenses for four other islands to Mr. Polonsky.

The court has taken no apparent action to enforce either ruling.

(Additional reporting by Ben Woods)

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