Russian businessman Sergei Polonsky, who was convicted of fraud in July this year but walked free from court, has recently announced his intention to run for the Russian presidency. The tycoon said Monday that his lawyer had asked the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) to provide its official position on registering Polonsky as a candidate.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, Polonsky announced his presidential bid in a Moscow court after the latter reaffirmed the decision to grant amnesty to the businessman, who had been accused of fraud.
A criminal case was initially opened against the real estate tycoon — a former occupant of the Forbes rich list with a fortune of $1.2 billion — under Article 159 of the Russian Criminal Code, which deals with fraud. CEC Deputy Chairman Nikolay Bulaev said that the decision on registering Polonsky as a presidential candidate would be made once he submitted the necessary documents and the election campaign officially started.
“I ask you to provide the official position of the CEC on S.Y. Polonsky’s admission to the presidential race in 2018,” said the text of the request, posted on Polonsky’s Twitter page.
According to the request, a CEC representative told media that the businessman could run for the presidency only in 10 years due to his conviction, however, Polonsky’s lawyer stressed that it was not true and the businessman had no legal obstacles for nomination.
Polonsky, once one of Russia’s richest businessmen, was charged in absentia with embezzling millions of dollars and fraud in 2013 when he resided in Cambodia. The businessman repeatedly denied accusations but was nevertheless deported from Cambodia in May 2015 following an extradition request from Moscow. In July 2017, Polonsky was sentenced to five years of imprisonment and released immediately from the court room due to expired statue of limitations.
The next presidential vote in Russia is scheduled for March 2018.