A Moscow court on Thursday approved a request by the defense of U.S. investor Michael Calvey for him to be moved from pre-trial detention to house arrest, Radio Liberty reported.
Calvey, the founder of private equity group Baring Vostok, was detained in February and held on fraud charges, in a case which has rattled foreign business circles in Russia. Three other partners in the fund were also detained and they remain in custody. All deny the allegations, saying the case is being used against them in a business dispute over the Russian bank Vostochny in which he is a shareholder.
Calvey himself promised to comply with all the conditions of house arrest and said that for him the flight from Russia in connection with the criminal case would be tantamount to admission of guilt and self-destruction. “My whole life is in Russia,” the Interfax news agency quoted the defendant as saying.
Calvey also once again declared his innocence and stressed that his arrest was the result of a business dispute. “What should be resolved in an open commercial court has been subject to criminal prosecution,” he said.
Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov, the head of Sberbank German Gref, Yandex founder Arkady Volozh, and the head of Rosnano Anatoly Chubais, were among prominent Russian business figures who demanded Calvey’s release from detention.
Western investors in Russia are worried about the business climate following the case, which has stoked talk of a possible U.S. boycott of Russia’s St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in June which is regularly attended by Putin.