Investment firm Baring Vostok asks Putin to ‘take personal control’ of the criminal case against its partners
The investment firm Baring Vostok has published an open letter to Vladimir Putin, asking the president to “take personal control of the criminal case” against Michael Calvey and five other suspects, “in order to ensure a comprehensive, independent, and objective investigation.”
Published in both Russian and English, the text states that the charges against Calvey and his supposed accomplices were “launched in the midst of a commercial conflict related to Vostochny Bank.” The company argues that the defendants are “accused of offenses in connection with the execution of normal management functions at a commercial organization.” Baring Vostok also protests the suspects’ imprisonment, pointing out that it contradicts Russia's declining use of jail as a form of pre-trial detention “for cases related to commercial activities.”
In mid-February, federal agents arrested Michael Calvey, the U.S. founder of the private equity group Baring Vostok, and five other suspects: Baring Vostok partner Vagan Abgaryan, financial industry partner and French citizen Philippe Delpal, investment director Ivan Zyuzin, PKB CEO Maxim Vladimirov, and Alexey Kordichev, an adviser to Norvik Banka’s board chairman and the former director of Vostochny Bank. The men are charged with violating Criminal Code Article 159, Section 4, which concerns “large-scale fraud committed by an organized group.” The offense carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.