A lawyer for Russian businessman Nikolai Doroshenko on Thursday requested bail for the 54-year-old, a day after he was arrested in Sihanoukville and imprisoned on fraud charges related to one of several disputes with fugitive developer Sergei Polonsky.
Military police arrested Mr. Doroshenko on Wednesday afternoon at his family’s Snake House restaurant and menagerie in Bei commune for failing to attend two court hearings last month about allegations that he forged signatures on fake documents to cheat Mr. Polonsky out of $10 million.
While Mr. Doroshenko remained behind bars at the Preah Sihanouk provincial prison Thursday, his lawyer, Chhun Chrea, sought his release.
“I submitted the bail complaint to the court this morning,” Mr. Chrea said, adding that his client was innocent of the fraud charges.
The charges—signature forgery, use of fake documents and breach of trust—are centered around the Sea Snake Investment Group, which both Mr. Doroshenko and Mr. Polonsky have a stake in.
Lawyers for Mr. Polonsky— who is wanted in Moscow on multimillion-dollar embezzlement charges—claim Mr. Doroshenko used the falsified documents to steal their client’s initial $10-million investment in the company. They are demanding the $10 million be returned and an additional $2 million in compensation.
Ros Saram, a deputy prosecutor at the Sihanoukville Provincial Court, said Thursday that there was a solid case against Mr. Doroshenko.
“I believe that we have some evidence that, based on the law, inculpates him,” he said.
Contacted Thursday, Mr. Doroshenko’s son Ostap, who is a captain in the provincial immigration police force, said his family would take legal action against Mr. Polonsky in response to his father’s incarceration. He said it had been Mr. Polonsky’s “mission to put him in prison.”
“Polonsky thinks he is right by the rules,” he said. “But we will see in the future who is right and who is wrong.”
(Additional reporting by Matt Blomberg)
© 2015, All rights reserved.