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Russian businessman questioned amid rumours of bail

Imprisoned Russian businessman Sergei Polonksy was questioned again at the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court yesterday – and although his legal team was working hard to secure him bail, reports of his impending release were exaggerated, his court translator said.

“Of course we want to get him out on bail, but we have to do it all based on the law,” said Tel Samuth, in response to questions about Russian media reports that Polonsky could walk free today. “We can’t do anything we like – that would be an abuse of the law.”

Samuth would not elaborate on the nature of the questioning yesterday, but said Polonsky had been interviewed alone.

The businessman, 40, and fellow Russians, Alexander Karachinsky and Konstantin Baglay, both 25, were arrested in late December and charged with intentional violence and illegal detention.

Allegations that they used a knife to threaten a boatman, lock him in a room and force him and his five fellow crew members overboard off Sihanoukville were later withdrawn, but the charges remain.

Tan Nareth, deputy director of Preah Sihanouk prison, said Polonsky had spent more than five hours out of his cell yesterday.

“But he’s back from court now, and we have not received any further orders,” he said.

The trio has requested that they only be interviewed together. Since their arrest, they have been semi-regular bloggers, despite having no internet access in their cells, and a prison guard has been suspended for secretly filming Polonsky yelling at a visitor.

Investigating Judge Sar Lina and Polonsky’s defence lawyer, Long Saluxe, could not be reached for comment.


To contact the reporter on this story: Cheang Sokha at



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