Eastern Europe

Russia Releases US Investor Michael Calvey From House Arrest

Russia Releases US Investor Michael Calvey From House Arrest
Michael Calvey
Image by Олег Яковлев / РБК

The American founder of giant Russian investment fund Baring Vostok has been released from house arrest in Moscow, although his movements are still restricted. Calvey was detained and jailed in Feb 2019 over a dispute with a Russian businessman Artem Avetisyan and his group Finvision, in regards to a transaction with Vostochny Bank.  Avetisyan has ties to Russian security services, who had him jailed.

Russia’s Supreme Court released Calvey today. Calvey has a Russian wife and children in Moscow. Five other associates of Calvey were detained as well in 2019.

The release follows a $32 million deal struck between Baring Vostok and Finvision over related civil claims and a global “peace agreement” to drop all ongoing arbitration claims. Experts said the agreement appeared to be a reward for Avetisyan’s strong-arm tactics of criminalizing the corporate dispute, but were hopeful it was the first step in freeing Calvey and his colleagues — four Russians and a French citizen, reported The Moscow Times.

“[The court hereby rules] to change the measure of restraint for the persons involved in the case from house arrest to prohibition of certain actions,” the judge ruled, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

The new measure of restraint bans defendants from changing their place of residence, leaving their homes at night, visiting the premises of Vostochny Bank and the First Collection Bureau, communicating outside of court sessions with persons involved in the case, receiving and sending mail and using telephone communication, except for emergency calls. The period of validity of the new preventive measure established by the court is January 13, 2021.

“I come to the conclusion that the circumstances which made the court choose a preventive measure in the form of house arrest for the persons involved in the case have changed. The preventive measure in the form of house arrest is no longer needed and is not in the interests of justice,” the judge said.

Baring Vostok released a statement which read in part:

“The criminal case that has been ongoing for the last year and nine months must be halted, because in actual fact no crime was committed, nor was there any party that suffered damages.”

“The case materials contain no evidence of wrongdoing by the individuals in question. We continued to be confident in the innocence of our colleagues, and will continue to fight for justice,” the private equity firm added.

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