Polonsky may be released soon - lawyer

The lawyer for Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, who was arrested in Cambodia, has apparently reached an agreement with the victims on compensation payments, the businessman's former partner Sergei Vladi told Interfax in a phone conversation from Cambodia on Friday.

"Apparently, the lawyer has reached an agreement that the crewmembers will accept Sergei Polonsky's apologies and will be paid compensation. I don't know the amount, but it's not an astronomical amount," Vladi said.

Polonsky's former partner said the lawyer for the Russians has agreed to make a request for the case to be re-tried on its merits.

"Sergei has never admitted his guilt and has never refused to apologize. A misunderstanding has occurred, a fight has occurred, he is ready to apologize and has already apologized," the source said.

The local media reported earlier that Polonsky and two more Russians were arrested in Sihanoukville on December 31, 2012 in line with a court ruling. The reports said six local sailors picked up three Russians near the island of Ko Rong, from where they had intended to return to the mainland, on Dec. 29. According to the victims, Polonsky threatened the captain of the vessel with a knife and locked him up in a cabin and made several crew members jump in the water.

On Jan. 5, it was reported that the court in Sihanoukville extended Polonsky's arrest for an indefinite period of time.

On Jan. 7, a posting appeared on Polonsky\'s Facebook page saying that the businessman is determined to insist on a prosecutor's probe.

"I could be released in 15 minutes, if I pleaded guilty. But I will get out only if I am fully acquitted because I am not to blame for what happened," Polonsky wrote.

The Russians may be sentenced to up to three years of jail on charges of intentional bodily damage and illegal detention.

Sergei Vladi, Polonsky's former partner on foreign projects, told Interfax on Jan. 10 that the businessman's defense lawyers intend to file a request seeking the reclassification of the charges against the Russians and their release.

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