Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, whose extradition the Russian Prosecutor General's Office is pursuing, said in a Cambodian court that he wanted to stay in Cambodia forever and had no wish to return to Russia, stating that he feared for his life.

Cambodian lawyers of the Russian businessman made a relevant statement during a closed-door court hearing, the investigative chamber of the Phnom Penh appeal court said in a resolution No. 5 of January 13, 2014, the copy of which has been obtained by Interfax.

"Polonsky thinks that he will be imprisoned, tortured and killed in Russia," the document said.

The defense referred to multi-million-dollar investments in the Cambodian economy as an argument in favor for the refusal to extradite Polonsky accused of especially large-scale fraud in Russia.

"The defense claims that Polonsky is the main investor in Cambodia, he has invested millions of dollars. In particular, he has built a seven-star hotel at Koh Dek Koul Island [also known as Nail Island], which brings profit," the Phnom Penh court said.

Polonsky has purchased eight islands, the lawyers said.

Due to this, Polonsky has asked the court to delay his extradition until a verdict is returned on another criminal case, which is being investigated in Cambodia over the incident with local sailors.

The court has upheld this request of the Russian businessman.

It has been reported that the Cambodian court had confirmed that it considered the filing by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office of a request for the extradition of Polonsky legitimate. "The appellate court in Phnom Penh ruled on January 13 this year that the request submitted by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office with the Phnom Penh court over Polonsky's extradition have been acknowledged as legitimate," the Office said.

However, "given that Polonsky is being charged with having committed crimes on Cambodian territory against its citizens, his extradition to Russia has been postponed pending a decision by a court in the Province of Preah Sihanouk over this criminal case," the document said.

Meanwhile, Polonsky's lawyer Alexander Karabanov said he insisted that the Cambodian court refused to extradite his client to Russia. "The legal fact exists that the Cambodian court ruled that the documents provided by Russia and Interpol are not enough grounds for the extradition of Polonsky," the attorney said.

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