Sihanoukville Court Grants Sergei Polonsky Bail

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court on Wednesday released Russian former billionaire Sergei Polonsky on bail after he spent more than three months in detention awaiting trial for an alleged assault on boatmen in Cambodian waters, an official said.

Mr. Polonsky was arrested with two fellow Russians on December 30 by Military Police, and it was alleged he had threatened six Cambodian workers on a boat with a knife and forced them to jump overboard.

The other Russians, Alexander Karachinsky and Konstantin Baglay, were released on bail last month. Provincial court deputy prosecutor Huot Vicheth said Mr. Polonsky had been released, but would still be under control of the court awaiting trial.

Mr. Vicheth declined to say how much Mr. Polonsky had paid to secure his release.

Tan Nareth, deputy chief of the provincial prison where Mr. Polonsky had been detained, confirmed that he was released at about 11 a.m. Wednesday on the court’s order.

The court had previously refused Mr. Polonsky bail, and it is not clear why he was suddenly released. The six alleged victims dropped their complaints in January after a compensation package totaling $20,000 was agreed upon.

Long Salux, a lawyer for Mr. Polonsky, said that he had received the order for Mr. Polonsky’s release, signed by investigating Judge Sor Lina, Wednesday.

Ostap Doroshenko, part of the family that owns the Snake House Hotel and Restaurant in Sihanoukville and an associate of Mr. Polonsky, said that Mr. Polonsky had immediately headed to Koh Dek Kuol, a private island he leases with the Doroshenko family.

“He took a jet ski and go straight to the island,” Mr. Doroshenko said.

Mr. Polonsky was once estimated to be a billionaire as head of real estate company Mirax Group, but the company ran into trouble during the 2008 financial crisis. He moved to Koh Dek Kuol last year, with disgruntled co-investors in Moscow and London still claiming unpaid debts, and the Russian Interior Ministry saying it was investigating Mr. Polonsky’s later company, Potok (Flow), for fraud.

News of Mr. Polonsky’s release spread quickly when it was announced on the Facebook page of Russian lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky, who had traveled to Cambodia to aid Mr. Polonsky.

The Voice of Russia website quoted Mr. Dobrovinsky as saying that Mr. Polonsky’s bail was  $50,000 and that two people were acting as guarantors.

Later in the day, Mr. Dobrovinsky posted a photograph of the luxury residence on Koh Dek Kuol and another of himself and a shirtless Mr. Polonsky side by side, grinning.

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