A court based in Moscow has extended the house arrest of American investor Michael Calvey until May 13, bne Intellinews reported.
The Baring Vostok CEO was detained on February 14 along with four other of his coworkers last year in what is widely seen as an abuse of the courts by equity firm’s former partners in a commercial dispute.
“[The court] hereby satisfies the petition of the investigation and extends the term of house arrest for the accused [Michael] Calvey for three months, until May 13,” Judge Andrei Rasnovsky ruled.
The judge also extended the house arrest of Baring Vostok’s partner French citizen Philippe Delpale.
The three other Baring Vostok partners have been held in pre-trial detention. Vagan Abgaryan, partner at Baring Vostok, Ivan Zyuzin, investment director at Baring Vostok, and also general director of the First Collection Bureau Maxim Vladimirov and advisor to the management board of Norvik Bank Alexey Kordichev will all celebrate their first full year in jail this week.
The investment community in Moscow was shocked by the arrest of Calvey and his colleagues, who have brought billions of dollars of investment into the Russian economy. Calvey himself is one of the best known and well-liked investors working in Russia.
Baring Vostok’s defense offered RUB25mn ($389,849) of bail for Calvey and Delpale. The defendants continue to plead not guilty and have declared their intention to seek acquittal in court.
The restrictions on all the defendants are severe. Both Calvey and Delpale have only limited access to their families; both have small children. The restrictions on the three Russian nationals in detention are even tougher and are stricter than those on convicts serving prison time, sources close to Baring Vostok told bne IntelliNews.
At the same ruling, Judge Rasnovsky denied an appeal by Baring Vostok’s defense to allow both the men under house arrest to go for daily walks.
The Moscow City Court also extended the house arrest to another person involved in the case, former director of Vostochny Bank Alexei Kordichev, until May 13.
On February 7, 2019, Serzod Yusupov, a minority shareholder in Vostochny Bank (Oriental Express Bank – OEB), filed a complaint with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). In addition, Artyom Avetisyan, another OEB shareholder, along with the deputy chairman of the bank’s board Konstantin Rogov, testified against Calvey.
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the embezzlement of RUB2.5bn rubles ($37.5mn) from the OEB on February 13, 2019. Calvey is the key defendant in the case. All five men are all facing charges under part 4 article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code: fraud committed on a large scale by an organized group.
In the meantime the Moscow court has lifted the arrest of 33% stake in the OEB controlled by Baring Vostok through Envision, Kirill Rubalsky of Finvision told Vedomosti daily on February 10. The fund controls 41.6% in the bank overall and can now resume voting with the stake, but will still be unable to sell it.
Baring Vostok saw the arrest of the shares as part of the raiding attack on the OEB and hopes that lifting the arrest will be the first step in resolving the “absurd case”.
Prior to the case, Baring Vostok controlled 51.6% of the OEB, with Avetisyan, Yusupov and Danilov controlling 40.02%. All the while Calvey was under arrest, his opponents gained control in the bank.