MOSCOW, February 26. /TASS/. The Moscow City Court ruled on Tuesday that two people involved in the case of Michael Calvey – former head of Vostochny Bank Alexei Kordichev and Baring Vostok fund’s partner Vagan Abgaryan should remain in custody, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
“(The court rules) to dismiss the defense complaint, to uphold the decision of the court of first instance,” the judge said.
In the coming days, the Moscow City Court will consider complaints about the arrest of four other people involved in the case.
The lawyers asked the court to release the defendants under house arrest, arguing that the charges they face are related to business activities.
But a representative of the victim in the case, the minority shareholder of Vostochny Bank Sherzod Yusupov, suggested that the defendants, if released, would hide from the investigation in the US or Armenian embassies.
“We all see what a fuss was made around this case and what powerful lobbying opportunities the defendants have,” he said.
The investigator also mentioned the long-term residence of Kordichev in New Zealand as a factor giving him every opportunity to escape from justice.
“Kordichev lived for a long time abroad, in New Zealand, plus he has the financial and administrative capacity to hide,” the investigator said.
Earlier, Kordichev’s lawyer told TASS that his defendant was cooperating with the investigation, giving evidence to other defendants in the case.
Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case into the embezzlement of 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from Vostochny Bank on February 13. Michael Calvey is the key defendant in the case. On February 15, the 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 (Swindling 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 billion-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.
On February 7, Serzod Yusupov, a minority shareholder in Vostochny Bank filed a complaint with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). In addition, Artyom Avetisyan, another Vostochny shareholder, along with the deputy chairman of the bank’s board Konstantin Rogov testified against Michael Calvey.
Calvey rejected all charges and accused Yusupov and Avetisyan of a conjuring up bogus charges caused by a “corporate conflict” in the bank.
Baring Vostok is one of the largest private equity firms focusing on Russia and the CIS with $3.7 bln in capital. Since 1994, the fund has poured more than $2.4 bln of investments into 70 projects in the areas of financial services, oil and gas, telecommunications and media, and into the consumer sector. Baring Vostok’s projects include CTC Media, Yandex, Avito, Ozon, ER-Telecom, 1C, and Novomet.
Article Sourced via TASS