(Bloomberg) -- A Russian court let out of jail three people being prosecuted as part of a case against U.S. investor Michael Calvey that has shocked the business community, transferring them to house arrest after a year behind bars.
The Moscow City Court on Wednesday rejected a request by prosecutors to extend pre-trial detention for the men, according to a spokesperson for Calvey’s Baring Vostok funds. Instead the judge ordered house arrest for Calvey’s colleagues Ivan Zyuzin and Vagan Abgaryan, as well as for Maxim Vladimirov of the First Collection Bureau, one of the funds’ projects.
Boris Titov, the Kremlin’s business ombudsman, welcomed the decision. “This is better late than never,” he said according to the Tass news service. “I think the Baring Vostok case will very soon be studied as an example of how things are not done.”
Calvey, one of the most successful and longest-standing foreign investors in Russian private equity, was arrested and jailed along with several colleagues in February last year on charges of defrauding Bank Vostochny, a Russian lender the funds controlled. They denied wrongdoing, saying the charges were a tactic in a business dispute with their Russian partners in Vostochny. Those investors denied the allegations.
After an outcry among top Russian business executives and officials, Calvey was released to house arrest in April. French citizen Philippe Delpal, was shifted to house arrest in August, just days before President Vladimir Putin went to France for a meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, who had repeatedly asked for Delpal’s release. The release of the three defendants Wednesday means all seven people facing charges in the case are now under house arrest.
Since the initial arrest, Calvey’s Russian partners in the bank have gained control over Vostochny.
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