Russian Flees Cambodia Despite His Pending Assault Trial

Russian former billionaire Sergei Polonsky has left Cambodia, despite currently being on bail by the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court for an alleged assault in December, according to an associate.

Mr. Polonsky, 40, along with two other Russians, is still awaiting trial over claims made by military police and six sailors that the Russians attacked the boatmen with a knife and forced them overboard. Mr. Polonsky was released April 3, and his lawyers said at the time that the bail conditions stipulated that he remain in the country until his trial, a date for which has not yet been set.

After his release, the former property tycoon immediately re­turned to his private island, Koh Dek Kuol, where he had been living before his arrest.

Sergei Vladi, a business associate and friend of Mr. Polonsky, who lives in London, said in an email that Mr. Polonsky “was in Cambodia until [approximately the] 26th April” before leaving. “I am sure he has left some sort a written request asking for a permission to leave for a few days for urgent medical consultation,” Mr. Vladi said.

Mr. Polonsky’s current whereabouts is unknown, but posts and photographs on his Facebook page show that he has spent time in Pregny-Chambesy, Geneva.

Mr. Vladi said he was unsure how Mr. Polonsky traveled from Cambodia to Europe. “[Polonsky’s] logistic[s] always was a mystery for security reasons,” he said.

“[Mr. Polonsky] was in [Switzerland] for last week but may unexpectedly jump to Moscow,” he added.

Mr. Polonsky’s lawyer, Kong Rady, declined to confirm that his client had left the country or comment on whether he had done so with the court’s permission. “I don’t know. But if you know, why do you ask me about that?” he said.

Officials at the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court could not be reached for comment, and Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said he did not know whether Mr. Polonsky had left Cambodia or not.

Pheng Phoeun, who manages the Snake House Hotel and Restaurant in Sihanoukville, whose owners share the lease of Koh Dek Kuol with Mr. Polonsky, said he had not seen Mr. Polonsky for some time. “I heard from my boss that Mr. Polonsky had left Cambodia,” he said.

Mr. Polonsky’s visit to Europe appears to coincide with the trial in Moscow of Russian media magnate Alexander Lebedev for punching Mr. Polonsky on live television in 2011.

Mr. Lebedev—who owns a Moscow newspaper critical of Russia’s authoritarian government—is charged with hooliganism and political hatred in the trial, which began Tuesday.

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