The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss a Moscow court’s ruling to keep US investor Michael Calvey in custody until trial, rejecting an appeal from his lawyers and drawing sharp criticism, not only from known Russophobes, but from prominent Russian businessmen.
US investor Michael Calvey, accused of embezzling US$37.5 million, should remain in custody pending trial, the Russian court ruled out.
The court rejected his appeal to be released on bail or moved to house arrest as the detainee might flee the country.
Calvey, the founder and senior partner of Baring Vostok private equity group, was arrested earlier this month, along with three other executives from his fund, for allegedly embezzling $37mn (2.5 billion rubles) from Vostochny Bank via a fraudulent scheme.
According to investigators, the investor and his associates allegedly persuaded the bank’s board to accept shares of a company instead of paying off a debt. While the shares were said to be worth over 3 billion rubles ($45 million), their actual value was 600,000 rubles ($9,000).
If found guilty, he could receive up to 10 years in prison along with a fine of up to one million rubles ($15,000).
Calvey denies wrongdoing, insisting he was falsely accused by the bank’s shareholders to pressure him in a business dispute over Vostochny Bank, where he’s a board member. Calvey tried to challenge several deals made by the bank’s co-owner, Artem Avetisyan, in the London Court of Arbitration.
Calvey’s detention was criticized by prominent business figures in Russia, including Sberbank head Herman Gref, Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh, and Russia’s business ombudsman, Boris Titov, who insisted the case has nothing to do with criminal law. President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said that the Kremlin “is closely following the developments” of the case.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.