Doroshenko Released From Prison

Russian businessman Nikolai Doroshenko was released from prison in Sihanoukville over the weekend after the Supreme Court granted him bail due to his poor health, more than two months after he was jailed on charges related to a dispute with his recently deported investment partner, Sergei Polonsky.

Provincial police chief Chuon Narin said Mr. Doroshenko—who was arrested by military police on March 25 after twice failing to appear at the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court for questioning over allegations of fraud —was released from the provincial prison on Saturday.

“When he was released, he got his freedom back,” Brigadier General Narin said.

Supreme Court vice president Khim Pon said the court had released Mr. Doroshenko because he had a heart condition.

“We decided to release him on bail because he is sick,” he said.

The charges against Mr. Doroshenko, 54, a longtime Sihanoukville resident who holds Cambodian citizenship, stem from accusations made by Mr. Polonsky that he forged signatures on fake documents in order to steal $10 million from their joint Sea Snake Investment Group.

Mr. Doroshenko was granted bail by the Court of Appeal in April, but the court’s prosecutor general overruled the decision and he remained behind bars.

Touch Chhay, a lawyer for Mr. Doroshenko, said the doctors at the prison could not properly treat his client’s heart condition and so he was released after the Supreme Court determined that he was not a flight risk.

“We are happy the court released him on bail,” Mr. Chhay said. “We will wait for the court to make a decision in the case to see whether he will be found guilty or not.”

The legal battles between Mr. Doroshenko and Mr. Polonsky have dominated headlines in Cambodia over the past two years, with the wealthy Russians both accusing each other of fraud, theft, defamation and attempted murder.

On May 17, Mr. Polonsky, once one of the richest men in Russia, was deported to Moscow to await trial on multimillion-dollar embezzlement charges.

Benson Samay, Mr. Polonsky’s Cambodian lawyer, said that since his client’s expulsion, he was at a loss about how to help him.

“I do not know what to do,” Mr. Samay said. “I do not know how to contact my client and unless there are instructions from the client, we cannot take action.”

Mr. Doroshenko’s son, Ostap, 36, a captain working in the Interior Ministry’s personnel department, said he was relieved that his father had been freed.

“I am very happy he has been released and he will go back to work as normal,” he said.

As part of his bail conditions, Ostap Doroshenko said, his father is not allowed to travel overseas or change residences. He added that he believed his father would be cleared of the charges against him.

“We have enough evidence to show that we did not fake the documents,” he said.

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