Oligarch Fires Back at Rival Over Accusations

Fugitive Russian oligarch Sergei Polonksy has filed a complaint with the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court accusing his former business partner, Nikolai Doroshenko, of defamation for accusing him of being behind an attack on his son in Sihanoukville last week.

The Russian heavyweights have long been feuding over a number of properties they co-own in the tourist town and on the islands off its coast.

“We submitted a complaint of defamation to the court at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday,” Mr. Polonsky’s lawyer, Benson Samay, said Thursday.

Chat Soreaksmey, chief prosecutor at the provincial court, confirmed that she received the complaint.

According to police, Ostap Doroshenko, 36—a Cambodian citizen and captain in the Preah Sihanouk provincial immigration police force —was repeatedly punched in the face by two Russians his father had arranged for him to meet on the road leading to the Independence Hotel on the evening of November 27.

A medical report signed by the director of Sihanoukville’s CT Polyclinic, where Ostap Doroshenko was admitted following the attack, states that he suffered a broken jaw, along with bruising and lacerations on his face.

On Sunday, Nikolai Doroshenko, 56, accused Mr. Polonsky, 42, of ordering the attack, which he said had been meant for him.

“If I had gone to meet them, they would have killed me,” he said at the time.

The following day, Mr. Samay, Mr. Polonsky’s lawyer, held a press conference at his office in Phnom Penh during which he said his client’s hands were clean.

“[Mr. Polonsky] said it is just cinema, it is not a true story,” he said, adding that photos of Ostap Doroshenko covered in blood taken after the attack, and printed in local newspapers over the weekend, were misleading.

“Polonsky said it is the blood of fish or chicken,” Mr. Samay said.

Mr. Polonsky, once among the richest men in Russia, was charged in absentia by the Russian Interior Ministry with embezzling millions of dollars from investors in a luxury apartment complex. He was subsequently placed on Interpol’s list of most-wanted criminals for “large-scale fraud,” but Cambodian courts have denied multiple extradition requests from Moscow.

In interviews earlier this week on Koh Dek Kuol, a tiny private island off the coast of Sihanoukville where he spends most of his time, Mr. Polonsky said that while Ostap Doroshenko may have indeed been assaulted, his father’s impulsive finger pointing was irresponsible.

“This man’s father [said]: ‘Oh Polonsky! Polonsky!” he said.

“Hey, stop,” he said, referring to Nikolai Doroshenko’s accusation. “You need to stop, understand and investigate without emotion.”

“This is not my deal. Forty two years, I never kill,” he added.

Mr. Polonsky also noted that it should not be hard to find the real suspects.

“It’s not difficult to catch two white people, Russians, in Cambodia,” he said.

Contacted Thursday, Nikolai Doroshenko referred questions to his son, who stood by his father’s claims.

While in a state of semi-consciousness during the attack, Ostap Doroshenko said he overheard his assailants say they were hired by Mr. Polonsky.

“I heard the two Russian men saying that if I didn’t die, Polonsky wouldn’t pay them,” he said, adding that he was still in hiding with his pregnant wife and 2-year-old daughter.

He said that he, too, has filed a complaint with the Preah Sihanouk court, accusing Mr. Polonsky of attempted murder, along with a matching complaint sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Ms. Soreaksmey, the Preah Sihanouk court prosecutor, said she had not received Ostap Doroshenko’s complaint. Theang Ramy, a clerk at the municipal court, also said he had not seen a copy of the complaint.

Preah Sihanouk minor crimes police chief Men Vanny said Thursday that his officers have been investigating the incident, but were still awaiting a description of the suspects from Ostap Doroshenko.

(Additional reporting by Khuon Narim and Chris Mueller)

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