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US investor Michael Calvey released, put under house arrest in Moscow

St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia (Wikimedia/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A Moscow court has ordered that U.S. investor Michael Calvey, whose detention stunned the business community in Moscow and clouded the investment climate, be released from pretrial detention and placed under house arrest instead.

The Basman District Court’s April 11 decision came a day after Russia’s Investigative Committee called for Calvey’s release.

Calvey left the court shortly after the ruling.

Calvey, 51, founded the Moscow-based private-equity firm Baring Vostok in 1994.

He and five other people were detained in February and charged with financial fraud. They deny any wrongdoing.

Their arrest and pretrial detention has underscored the dangers of doing business in Russia and deepened Western concerns about the rule of law.

Kremlin critics have called for the release of Calvey, who has been confined to the Lefortovo jail in Moscow since shortly after his arrest.

The charges against Calvey and his associates stem from allegations of embezzlement involving a Russian bank in which Baring Vostok has a controlling stake.

Calvey’s arrests shocked the Moscow business community in part because he had avoided political controversy and was considered to have been instrumental in helping develop Russian tech companies.