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Jailed Russian Tycoon Seeks Release on Bail

The head of Russian Mirax construction group Sergei Polonsky seen during the Global Investment & Finance Forum in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 2, 2009. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
PHNOM PENH - Lawyers for jailed Russian real estate investor Sergei Polonsky say they are working to have him released on bail.

His Russian defense attorney, Sergei Vladi, told VOA Khmer Tuesday he had filed for the release of Polonsky and two other Russian nationals on Monday.

The three are accused of illegally confining a crew of Cambodian sailors and then forcing them by knifepoint to jump ship, following an altercation near a remote island off the coast in December.

Til Piset, an interpreter for Sergei Polonsky in prison, said the Russian had denied the accusations against him and had told court officials that the Cambodian crew had disobeyed orders to work, and that to “joke” with them, he locked them in the bathroom of the boat.

Polonsky told court officials the crew had then jumped overboard themselves, due to a “miscommunication,” Til Piset said.