Cambodian sailors 'forced to jump into sea' settle case with Russian tycoon Sergei Polonsky

Crew withdraw their accusations after agreeing £12,500 compensation deal

Sihanoukville

Six Cambodian seamen who were allegedly forced to leap into the ocean at knifepoint by a Russian tycoon have withdrawn their accusations after agreeing a compensation deal worth a total of $20,000 (£12,500).

Ouch Sopheaktra, a lawyer for the crew members, said the men had withdrawn their charges against Sergei Polonsky earlier this week after agreeing a payout. “The victims withdrew their lawsuits on 10 January and they have been compensated $20,000,” he said. “I have no idea if the court will release the Russian men very soon because the court has their own legal way to decide what to do next.”

Mr Polonsky was arrested by the Cambodian authorities along with two friends, Konstantin Baglay and Alexander Karachinsky, and charged with “intentional violence” and illegal detention after the sailors were forced into the ocean off the coast at Sihanoukville on the night of 30 December. If convicted, they could face up to three years in jail.

Reports said the incident happened after a fireworks party being held on Koh Rong island and attended by Mr Polonsky and his friends, attracted the attention of a nearby military base. When a boat was dispatched to check, Mr Polonsky apparently offered to accompany the boat to the mainland to collect his documents. At some point, the sailors were allegedly forced into the sea where they were rescued by local fishermen.

A statement released on Mr Polonsky’s behalf when the incident happened said: “Unfortunately, the language barrier between both parties led to some tension as Mr Polonsky and his friends were taken to the military base by force.”

On social media, Mr Polonsky insisted he would not plead guilty to the allegations levelled at him. He said: “I could have gone free after 15 minutes if I had pleaded guilty.”

The 40-year-old tycoon made his money in the construction industry, though he suffered major financial losses in the 2008 crisis and had to abandon his plans to build what would have been Europe’s tallest building in Moscow. He moved to Cambodia last year and established himself in the south-western coastal resort of Sihanoukville.

There are suggestions in Moscow that he may have fled to Cambodia in order to avoid a potential court case against creditors who say he owes them millions of dollars. Russian media have reported that Mr Polonsky has written to the king of Cambodia asking for citizenship of the country after his release and promising major investment in the economy.

His company is said to be part-owner of Koh Dek Kuol, a private island that his company has developed as the Mirax luxury resort.

Last year, Mr Polonsky was involved in an incident when he was punched on live television by Alexander Lebedev, the father of Evgeny Lebedev, proprieter of The Independent. Mr Lebedev has been charged with hooliganism and battery and his trial is scheduled to begin shortly.

Although the sailors have dropped their claims against Mr Polonsky it is not clear what has happened to the formal charges that were levelled against him and he and his friends remain in jail. Prosecutor Huot Vicheth said today that the case was now being dealt with by an investigating judge.

The Russian embassy in Phnom Penh failed to respond to queries.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Project Manager (infrastructure, upgrades, rollouts)

£38000 - £45000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments