Wire Service
1 minute read
11 Apr 2019
1:09 pm

Russian court moves US investor Calvey to house arrest


A Moscow court on Thursday ruled to move Michael Calvey, a prominent American investor who has been behind bars since mid-February on controversial fraud charges, from pre-trial jail to house arrest.

Calvey was arrested in February with five others and accused of defrauding a bank . AFP/File/Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

The move came after some of Moscow’s most powerful figures called on the Kremlin to let him go.

Judge Yulia Safina of Moscow’s Basmanny District Court accepted a petition filed by state investigators and ordered Calvey released “in the courtroom,” an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Addressing the judge in Russian from his glass cage, Calvey promised to abide by the conditions of the house arrest.

“To run from Russia for me would be to admit my guilt,” he told her.

The founder of Baring Vostok investment fund was arrested in February with five other individuals, and accused of defrauding Vostochny Bank of 2.5 billion rubles ($38.7 million).

He maintained that the accusations against him amount to a “business dispute which started long before my arrest”.

“Despite this corporate conflict, which has turned into criminal prosecution, I would like to reiterate what I have always said: I still believe in Russia’s investment potential,” he said.

An investigator, Lyudmila Samoilenko, said in court that Calvey has three children as well as “stable connections in Moscow, (and) a permanent job” and has given to charity.

Given these factors, investigators appealed to soften Calvey’s pre-trial conditions, she added.

Several prominent figures have spoken out in support of Calvey, including the Kremlin’s business ombudsman Boris Titov and the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, Kirill Dmitriyev.