S’ville Court Denies Bail to Doroshenko

The Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court has denied bail to Russian businessman Nikolai Doroshenko, who was arrested at his family’s restaurant in Sihanoukville last week and jailed on a trio of fraud charges related to a dispute with fugitive developer Sergei Polonsky, the investigating judge said Wednesday.

“The court decided to deny him bail yesterday, but only informed his lawyer today,” said Y Kheang, the judge, declining to comment further on the case.

Mr. Doroshenko, 54, who has lived in Sihanoukville for more than two decades and holds Cambodian citizenship, was arrested by military police at his family’s Snake House restaurant in the coastal town’s Bei commune on March 25.

He was sent to the provincial prison that night to await trial on charges of signature forgery, use of fake documents and breach of trust, crimes that allegedly allowed him to steal $10 million that Mr. Polonsky had invested in their joint Sea Snake Investment Group.

Mr. Doroshenko’s son, Ostap, said his father was innocent, and vowed to take legal action against Mr. Polonsky, who is wanted in Russia on multimillion-dollar embezzlement charges.

Contacted Wednesday, the younger Doroshenko declined to comment. His father’s lawyer, Chhun Chrea, who filed the bail request the day of the arrest, said the court should have allowed his client to walk free because he was an upstanding member of the community with too much to lose by fleeing.

“I think the court should not detain him because he is a businessman, he has a permanent address and he is a Cambodian national,” Mr. Chrea said.

“The judge could have put him under court supervision,” he said, adding that he would ask the Appeal Court to reconsider the bail decision no later than Friday.

Benson Samay, a lawyer for Mr. Polonsky, said the court’s decision was “correct,” and that even if Mr. Doroshenko were freed on bail he would still have to answer for more than a dozen other criminal complaints filed by Mr. Polonsky’s defense team.

“Even if he gets bail, he’s involved in many other cases,” he said.

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