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Moscow Court Denies U.S. Investor's Appeal Against Pretrial Detention


Michael Calvey attends a court hearing earlier this month in Moscow.

MOSCOW -- A Russian court has ruled that American investment-fund manager Michael Calvey should remain in pretrial custody, rejecting his appeal to be moved to house arrest.

The Moscow City Court issued the ruling against Calvey, the founder of the Russia-based private-equity group Baring Vostok, on February 28.

Baring Vostok said it will appeal against the decision.

Calvey, three additional Baring Vostok employees, and two other executives were detained in Moscow earlier in February and charged with large-scale financial fraud.

Calvey and the others, who are also being held in detention pending trial, deny any wrongdoing.

If convicted, Calvey -- one of the most prominent foreign investors in Russia -- could face up to 10 years in prison.

Addressing the court via a video link from his Moscow jail, the father of three said: "I do not plan to escape, I am going to fulfill all my obligations."

Calvey also said that he "must advise my children in choosing university courses, and this is why this detention is very difficult."

His arrest in Moscow on February 14, amid persistently and severely strained ties between Russia and the United States, sent shock waves through Western business circles.

Baring Vostok has said that the case was linked to a commercial conflict with Vostochny Bank.

In its February 28 statement, Baring Vostok announced it intends to appeal the court’s decision to keep its founder in jail, adding: "We are convinced that our employees have acted properly and will defend their rights."

Baring Vostok added that, over the past 25 years, its funds "have made a significant contribution to Russia’s sustainable economic development by investing in Russian companies, many of which have become leaders in their sectors and have successfully entered international markets."

Baring Vostok funds have invested more than $900 million into Russian companies in the last three years alone, the statement also said.

With reporting by AFP
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