Polonsky Protests Fugitive Status, Impending Arrest in Letter

The day after Cambodian police announced they would arrest and extradite him, fugitive Russian oligarch Sergei Polonsky on Wednesday drafted a letter to Interpol, demanding that the international law enforcement agency remove his name from their list of wanted criminals.

“I demand…the Interpol system to exclude me from the list of wanted criminals [on the] database and website of Interpol,” a copy of the letter translated into English and posted to Mr. Polonsky’s personal website states.

Mr. Polonsky said the Interpol arrest warrant was in violation of his human rights, and he went on to reference a litany of human rights conventions and legal precedents that he says support this claim.

“In fact, Interpol on the basis of the fictional Russian criminal cases [is] blocking my ability to conduct multibillion dollar project in England, France, Switzerland, causing economic loss to me personally and to the business community,” the letter continues.

The three-page letter is signed and thumb-printed, and includes Mr. Polonsky’s contact details on Koh Dek Kuol, his private island off the coast of Sihanoukville.

Mr. Polonsky—once one of the richest men in Russia—was charged in absentia in July with embezzling more than $175 million from about 80 investors in a Moscow development project.

The oligarch claims that this charge, along with an assault charge in Cambodia for which he served three months in prison earlier this year, are mere at­tempts by former partners of his real estate firm Mirax Group, since renamed Potok, to steal his money.

On Tuesday, National Police spokesman Lieutenant General Kirth Chantharith said that Cambodia has received an official request from Moscow for Mr. Polonsky’s extradition and that police would soon arrest him.

Contacted by telephone Wednesday, Mr. Polonsky declined to comment on his impending arrest.

At about 6 p.m. Wednesday, Mr. Polonsky ambiguously posted “Interpol welcome?!” on his personal Twitter account, with a link to a screenshot of his profile on the agency’s website.

Despite his possibly limited time left in Cambodia, Mr. Polonsky’s Facebook profile was regularly updated Wednesday with photos and videos of the Russian seemingly going about his daily routine on Koh Dek Kuol.

Lt. Gen. Chantharith could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Lieutenant General Keo Vanthan, head of Cambodia’s Interpol office, declined to comment.

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