Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Polonsky Puts Off Plans to Return to Russia

The former billionaire was arrested in absentia on charges of large-scale fraud. Vladimir Filonov

Fugitive tycoon Sergei Polonsky booked a flight to Moscow for Monday, but has had to postpone his travel arrangements while his offer of a plea bargain with the Russian authorities hangs in the balance.

"I had planned to come to Moscow on the 11th" of November, Polonsky told Rossiya 24 television channel Wednesday. "But given the current situation, I can't," he said without elaborating.

Polonsky's lawyer Alexander Karabanov said the decision not to come to Russia was linked to the criminal case against his client. Russian authorities have charged Polonsky with stealing more than 5.7 billion rubles ($172 million) from stakeholders in a residential development project. He was arrested in absentia in September in connection with the case.

"He wants to return to Russia very much but he has no such possibility," Karabanov said, Itar-Tass reported Wednesday.

Karabanov said that Polonsky has signed a request to enter into a plea bargain, but that no decision has been made on it yet. "We are waiting for a reply; we really hope it will be favorable," he said.

Polonsky, who is wanted by Interpol, earlier said he was eager to return to Russia, but only if investigators rescind his arrest in absentia and impose travel restrictions on him instead.

For his part in the bargain, Polonsky would cooperate with investigators and pay back the money to the deceived development project investors.

Polonsky faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of large-scale fraud.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more