The Russian Interior Ministry's Investigative Department has denied businessman Sergei Polonsky's plea bargain request, and the legal team representing Polonsky is going to lodge another plea deal petition with the Prosecutor General's Office, Alexander Karabanov, a lawyer for the Mirax Group ex-head, told Interfax on Friday.
"The Investigative Department of the Russian Interior Ministry has denied Sergei Polonsky's petition seeking a plea agreement. Investigator Oleg Fyodorovich Silchenko said that they would be ready to revisit this issue given Polonsky's personal presence in Silchenko's office as an arrested person," Karabanov said.
However, the Russian Code of Criminal Procedures allows the authorities to change a suspect's pre-trial restrictions prior to the suspect's arrival in the country, the lawyer said.
Polonsky is ready to voluntarily return to Russia only if his current pre-trial restrictions are replaced by any other measures that do not require his detention, he added.
"We are prepared to lodge this petition once again, but this time it will be forwarded to the Russian prosecutor general, not the investigator," he said.
Polonsky was imprisoned in Cambodia from December 31, 2012 until April 3, 2013, on the counts of violence against local sailors and illegal depriving them of their freedom. He could have been sentenced to three years in prison but his defense team reached an agreement with the victims and the Cambodian sailors withdrew their statements in exchange for financial compensation from Polonsky. The businessman was set free with travel restrictions, but his case was not closed.
Reportedly, Polonsky left Cambodia after his release from prison, visited Switzerland and Luxembourg and came to Israel to seek Israeli naturalization.
Russia charged Polonsky in absentia on June 14 with fraud in the construction of an apartment block.
Detectives said he "stole over 5.7 billion rubles from investors in the Kutuzovskaya Milya apartment block project." More than 80 citizens were acknowledged as victims.
The Moscow Tverskoy Court ordered his arrest in absentia and it was announced during the court session that Polonsky had been placed on the international most wanted list.
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