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Cambodia Rejects Russia's Polonsky Extradition Request

Polonsky is wanted in Russia on suspicion of stealing $160 million.

Cambodia's highest court has refused a request from Russia to extradite businessman Sergei Polonsky, who faces fraud charges in his native country, a Cambodian judge said Friday.

Kim Sothavy, a judge in Cambodia's supreme court, said it had turned Russia down because the two countries don't have an extradition agreement, The Associated Press reported.

Polonsky is wanted in Russia on suspicion of stealing $160 million from shareholders in a residential development project in Moscow, and the General Prosecutor's Office issued a request for his extradition last November.

An unidentified Cambodian prosecutor said in January that no decision on the extradition request will be made until a kidnapping case brought against Polonsky in the Asian country has been concluded.

Polonsky was detained in December 2012 after he and two other Russians locked a group of Cambodian sailors in the hold of a yacht during a party.

He spent three months in prison before being released, having agreed a financial settlement with the sailors, though the case against him was never formally closed.

However, Alexander Karabanov, Polonsky's lawyer, said the decision by the courts to turn down Russia's extradition request showed the Cambodian authorities had no further claims on his client, and that the kidnapping case against him had effectively been dismissed, Interfax reported Friday.

Karabanov added that he expected any future requests for Polonsky's extradition to also be rejected.

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