Moscow’s Basmanny Court on January 9 prolonged the house arrest of Michael Calvey, US citizen and founder of leading Russian fund Baring Vostok private equity firm, until February 13.
Under the same ruling the court extended the house arrests of Baring Vostok’s partner Philip Delpal, former director of Vostochny bank Alexei Kordichev and former director for investments of Vostochny bank, Alexander Tsakunov (the latest arrest in the case, detained in December 2019).
As reported by bne IntelliNews, the arrest of Calvey has sent shockwaves through the Russian investment community. Although he and his colleague Delpal have been released on house arrest their freedoms are severely curbed and they still must face trial where they are accused by a former fellow investor of fraud.
"Following completion of the investigation in December 2019, there is no justification whatsoever to continue to hold hostages in the scam perpetrated by Artem Avetisyan, who has put his personal interests above the law," Baring Vostok said in a press-release, referring to the had of FinVision who initiated the case.
"Nonetheless, the court has ignored the fact that the criminal case has fallen apart and prolonged the house arrests of innocent people, who will never get the lost year of their lives back," Baring Vostok adds.
It is widely assumed that Avetisyan used his friendship with Dmitry Patrushev, the son of the former director of the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), to launch the investigation as a way to pressuring Baring Vostok in the battle for control in the Oriental Express Bank (OEB).
Most recently Baring Vostok said it would scrap plans to raise a sixth fund that could have been worth $1.3bn, as five of its senior managers face fraud changes and three of them languish in prison.
Three of Baring’s Russian nationals – Maksim Vladimirov, Ivan Zyuzin and Vagan Abgaryan – have already been in pre-trial detention for almost a year and a court recently refused appeals to at least release them to house arrest. The three will have to spend at least another year there until the trial begins.