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Polonsky Freed but Still Faces Problems in Cambodia and Russia

Property magnate Sergei Polonsky walked free from a Cambodian jail on Wednesday after posting a $50,000 bail and promising not to leave the country, his lawyer said.

Polonsky, who was detained Dec. 30 on allegations of attacking Cambodian sailors on a cruise, may be cleared of all charges as early as next week, his lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky said.

"I think that the court will convene for a one-day hearing no earlier than next week," he told Interfax. "I hope that the case will be closed because there are no victims and no complaints."

Polonsky, one of Russia's wealthiest businessmen before the 2008 financial crisis, faces three years in prison if convicted of attacking and illegally detaining Cambodian sailors at knifepoint during a cruise trip from an island to the mainland. The sailors withdrew their police complaint on Jan. 14 amid reports that they had reached a compensation agreement with Polonsky.

Dobrovinsky said Polonsky would stay at his private villa on one of Cambodia's islands while he waits for the court's next decision. "It's a wonderful place. He'll rest there," he said.

Last month, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov met with Cambodia's ambassador to Moscow to ask for an "objective, unemotional investigation" into Polonsky's case.

Even if Polonsky is cleared in Cambodia, he faces legal troubles back at home. Home buyers of the unfinished Kutuzovskaya Milya apartment complex urged Russian investigators Wednesday to question Polonsky upon his return from Cambodia.

"We welcome the decision of the Cambodian authorities to free Polonsky from custody, and we believe that there are no obstacles now to prevent him from being questioned by Russian investigators in connection with the fraud case brought by buyers of apartments in the residential complex on Kutuzovsky Prospekt," the home buyers said in a statement carried by Interfax.

The home buyers accuse Polonsky of diverting 6 billion rubles ($200 million) meant for the apartment complex into other real estate projects in 2007 and 2008.

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