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Extradition Threatened Polonsky Applies to Marry Partner

Businessman Sergei Polonsky, who is in a Cambodian prison awaiting extradition to Russia, has applied to marry his partner Olga Deripasko, his lawyer said.

Polonsky and Deripasko, who herself was briefly detained during a visit to the same prison in mid-November, submitted their application Thursday, lawyer Alexander Karabanov told Interfax on Friday.

Polonsky is still waiting to be informed about the date of his extradition hearing, Karabanov said, while an official close to the situation said Russia may have to wait a long time for the process to be finalized.

"Cambodia's law it similar to that of Russia and envisages a complex, multi-step procedure," the unidentified official said. "The defendant and his lawyers are naturally taking advantage of that."

"Everything is to be decided by a court, which will carefully review case materials, but even after a ruling is reached, the defense may appeal it at a higher court," the official added. "And there are no deadlines spelled out there."

Polonsky is wanted in Russia on suspicion of stealing $172 million from shareholders in a residential development project in Moscow and was put on an international wanted list by Interpol in October.

Cambodia issued an arrest warrant for Polonsky, who denies the embezzlement charges, at Moscow's request earlier this month.

Having been tipped off about the Cambodian police's plans to arrest him, Polonsky fled his private island on Nov. 11 and tried to hide in the jungle, but was caught by police after several hours of searching.

Deripasko was detained last week while visiting Polonsky because the journalists and photographers who accompanied her broke prison rules by taking pictures and filming the inside of the facility. They were released soon afterward, however.

Last year he was charged with assaulting a group of Cambodian sailors and was subsequently incarcerated for more than three months. He was released after paying compensation to the sailors, but the case remains open.

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