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Business ombudsman receives appeals of all six defendants in Baring Vostok case

Currently, Calvey is being held in a cell at the Matrosskaya Tishina jail in Moscow

MOSCOW, February 21. /TASS/. Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov has received and started working with the appeals of all six defendants in the case of Baring Vostok investment fund.

"I received documents and appeals from the defense of other defendants in the Baring Vostok case, who are partners and employees of the foundation - Vagan Abgaryan, Ivan Zyuzin, Philippe Delpal, Alexey Kordichev and head of the First Collection Bureau, Maxim Vladimirov, who was also arrested in one case with the top managers of the investment fund. So with Michael Calvey I have six appeals in work," Titov told TASS on Thursday.

On Thursday, the ombudsman sent a letter to Russia’s Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika, asking him to verify the legality and validity of decisions to detain the founder of the Baring Vostok Michael Calvey and five other defendants in the case. The copy of letter has been obtained by TASS.

"I ask you to order verification of legality and validity of the decisions that were made with regard of choosing custody as a preventive measure for Calvey, Michael John, Delpal, Phillip ...", the letter says.

Currently, Calvey is being held in a cell at the Matrosskaya Tishina jail in Moscow.

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, 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.

About Baring Vostok

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.