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Russian Real Estate Tycoon Polonsky Convicted, Freed


Sergei Polonsky reacts inside the defendants' cage as he attends a court hearing in Moscow on July 12.

A Russian court has convicted flamboyant real-estate tycoon Sergei Polonsky of large-scale embezzlement but released him from custody, saying that the statute of limitations has expired.

The Presnya district court in Moscow formally sentenced Polonsky to five years in prison but ordered his release, and he walked free from the courtroom.

Polonsky was charged in June 2013 with embezzling more than 5.7 billion rubles ($98 million) in prepayments for apartments in a housing complex his company was building in Moscow.

In May 2015, he was extradited from Cambodia, where he was living in self-imposed exile and evading Russian law enforcement.

Polonsky denied wrongdoing, saying the case against him was aimed at taking control of his holdings.

Polonsky made headlines in 2012 after another Russian tycoon, Aleksandr Lebedev, punched him on a live television show.

Also in 2012, Polonsky and two associates were arrested in Cambodia and charged with assaulting sailors. The tycoon spent three months in detention there and later fled to Israel, where he unsuccessfully sought citizenship, before returning to Cambodia.

Based on reporting by Rapsinews.ru and Interfax
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