Russian President Vladimir Putin did not intervene and will not intervene in the investigation of the criminal case against Michael Calvey, the founder of the Baring Vostok private equity firm, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, TASS reported.
"The president could not, cannot and does not have any plans to intervene in the investigative actions or judicial actions," Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman was asked if the business community’s intercession for Calvey before the president affected the mitigation of the preventive measure for the businessman.
"This did not play any role. Moreover, we carefully avoided any assessments of [this criminal case]," Peskov replied.
On Thursday, the Basmanny Court released Calvey from the detention center and placed him under house arrest. The court also released another defendant in the case, former head of the Vostochny Bank Alexei Kordichev, who pleaded guilty and gave testimony regarding other defendants. He was also placed under house arrest.
Earlier on Friday, the court satisfied the petition of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation and prolonged the house arrest of Michael Calvey for three months, until July 14.
Baring Vostok’s case
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the embezzlement of 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from the Vostochny Bank on February 13. Michael Calvey is the key defendant in the case. On February 15, law enforcement agencies arrested Calvey and five others: Vagan Abgaryan, partner at Baring Vostok, Philippe Delpale, an investment partner for the financial industry sector at Baring Vostok, Ivan Zyuzin, Investment Director at Baring Vostok and also General Director of the First Collection Bureau Maxim Vladimirov and Advisor to the Management Board of Norvik Bank, Alexey Kordichev. They are all facing charges under part 4 article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code (fraud committed on a large scale by an organized group).
According to the investigation, Calvey and his accomplices put together a scheme, where the "First Collection Bureau", under their control, waived its right to a 59.9% stake in a Luxembourg-based company called the International Financial Technology Group (IFTG), to the Vostochny bank to pay it back for a 2.5 bln-ruble debt. Before the deal, IFTG’s shares were valued at 3 bln rubles. However, the investigation is examining another estimate of 600,000 rubles (according to a Cyprus-based company’s valuation). That said, the Central Bank claimed that the price of these shares was close to zero, the investigator noted. Calvey rejected all charges saying that bogus charges against him were caused by a "corporate conflict" in the bank.