U.S. offers political asylum to Polonsky - lawyer

Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky has received offers of political asylum from different countries, including the United States, his lawyer Alexander Karabanov said.

Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky has received offers of political asylum from different countries, including the United States, his lawyer Alexander Karabanov said.

"Sergei Yuryevich has indeed received offers of political asylum from several countries, including the United States of America. However, Polonsky has not made any decisions on that," Karabanov told a press conference on Monday.

Polonsky will consider these offers depending on "what the Russian authorities, which are expected to ensure an objective investigation, will do," he said.

"Polonsky intends to return to Russia, prove his innocence, and resolve all problems with housing construction investors in accordance with the law," Karabanov said.

In the meantime, Polonsly's headquarters said in a statement posted on livejournal.com that the businessman "has taken time to consider whether or not he needs Russia and Russian citizenship."

Businessman Sergei Polonsky, who has been detained in Cambodia at Russia's request, says he is thinking about giving up his Russian citizenship.

"Sergei Polonsky is stopping all media coverage for the Russian-speaking zone and has taken time to consider whether or not he needs Russia and Russian citizenship, bearing in mind that Russia doesn't need him," Polonsky's headquarters said in a statement posted on livejournal.com.

"Sergei Polonsky is outraged by the icy silence of the entire business community, which he has defended for all these years, despite risks to himself, and he has now received silence in response. The bloodiest crimes are committed with silent approval, and criminal elements are now actively working on making him rot in jail, which is proven by a large amount of evidence and many witnesses. Bearing in mind what people say and write about him and do to him, the true situation is that the Russian Federation does not need him," the statement says.

It was reported on November 11 that Polonsky had been detained in Cambodia. The Russian Prosecutor General's Office sent a request for the businessman's extradition to the Cambodian law enforcement agencies. The trial of the case involving Polonsky's extradition has been postponed many times.

Polonsky was in prison in Cambodia in the period between December 31, 2012 and April 3, 2013 on suspicion of subjecting local sailors to violence and imprisonment. He faced three years in prison. However, his lawyers managed to reach agreements with the victims. The sailors withdrew their claims and received compensation. The businessman gave his written undertaking not to leave the country and was released. However, the criminal case against him was not closed.

The Russian Interior Ministry's investigative department presented an indictment against Polonsky in absentia on June 14 in a case dealing with fraud during the construction of a residential complex in Moscow. Polonsky is suspected of embezzling over 5.7 billion rubles ($173 million) from investors of the Kutuzov Mile residential complex. Over 80 individuals have been recognized as victims of the fraud scheme.

Moscow's Tverskoi Court later sanctioned Polonsky's arrest in absentia, and he was subsequently declared internationally wanted. The Moscow City Court later confirmed that the arrest in absentia of Polonsky was indeed legal.

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