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September 23, 2017

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Russia tycoon released from Cambodia jail: lawyers

MOSCOW -- A Russian real estate tycoon who was arrested in Cambodia over accusations he locked up the crew of a boat at knifepoint was granted provisional release after spending three months in prison, his lawyers said Wednesday.

"This morning he was released," Polonsky's Cambodian lawyer Kong Rady told AFP. As part of his provisional release, the Russian businessman will not be able to leave Cambodia, he added.

"Sergei Polonsky has been set free and left the prison where he spent more than three months," Polonsky's Russian lawyer Alexander Dobrovinsky confirmed on Facebook.

The businessman's other lawyer, Diana Totosova, said Polonsky was in good spirits and will remain in the Southeast Asian country to await a further decision by the authorities.

"Mr. Polonsky is feeling great and is very glad that justice prevailed at least to some degree," Totosova told Moscow's Kommersant FM radio.

Polonsky, who is believed to have business interests in Cambodia, was detained on New Year's Eve during rowdy celebrations in the southwestern resort city of Sihanoukville.

He faces accusations that he and two other Russians threatened a crew of six boatmen at knifepoint and locked them up while they were returning to shore from a nearby island.

"Sergei Polonsky will remain on the island with his friends and colleagues. He can freely move around Cambodia," said Totosova.

Polonsky, 40, is an outspoken real estate tycoon whose extravagant behavior and racy business slogans have repeatedly raised eyebrows in Russia.

His business nosedived after the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis, forcing him to abandon work on Moscow's Federation Tower, which he hoped would become the tallest building in Europe.

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