Moscow Court Extends U.S. Businessman’s House Arrest for Three Months

A Moscow court has extended for three months the house arrest of U.S. investor Michael Calvey, a day after he was moved from pretrial detention, the Washington Post reports.

The detention of the American businessman and founder of investment firm Baring Vostok on fraud charges has shocked the business community in Moscow and clouded the country’s investment climate.

The court rejected the request by Calvey’s lawyers to release their client on bail or on condition that he does not leave Moscow.

Another suspect in the high-profile case, Aleksei Kordichev, the former chief of Vostochny Bank, was also released from pretrial detention and placed under house arrest on April 11. The court said that Kordichev pleaded guilty and testified against two other suspects in the case.

Calvey, 51, founded the Moscow-based private-equity firm Baring Vostok in 1994. He, Kordichev, and four others were detained in February and charged with financial fraud. The arrests have underscored the dangers of doing business in Russia and deepened Western concerns about the rule of law.

Calvey’s business partners — Frenchman Philippe Delpal, Vagan Abgarian, Ivan Zyuzin, and Maksim Vladimirov — remain in pretrial detention.

The charges against Calvey and his five associates stem from allegations of embezzlement involving the Vostochny Bank in which Baring Vostok has a controlling stake.

Calvey’s arrests shocked the Moscow business community in part because he had avoided political controversy and was considered instrumental in helping develop Russian tech companies.