MOSCOW, June 13 (RAPSI) – Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov has forwarded a request to consider a possibility to change a restrictive measure of detained Baring Vostok Industry Partner for the financial industry sector Philippe Delpal to the Investigative Committee’s Chair Alexander Bastrykin, the ombudsman’s press service reports.

According to Titov’s letter, arguments of investigators and court that the French citizen involved in a 2.5-billion-ruble (about $40 million) embezzlement case can abscond during the investigation or trial or oppose them have a formal nature; there is no explicit data confirming such intentions of the defendant.

Titov has repeatedly pushed for Delpal’s release.

In April, when detention of Delpal was extended until July 14, Titov said that Delpal was not involved in a deal which formed the basis for the criminal case against Baring Vostok managers. There are no legal and ethical grounds to hold him in detention taking account release of Baring Vostok investment company’s founder, U.S. citizen Michael Calvey from jail, he added.

In mid-February, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court ordered detention of Calvey and five other defendants including Baring Vostok Industry Partner for the financial industry sector, French citizen Philippe Delpal, the company’s partners Vagan Abgaryan, Baring Vostok Investment Director Ivan Zyuzin, Maxim Vladimirov and ex- chairman of Vostochny bank board Alexey Kordichev.

On April 11, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court released Calvey from detention and put him under house arrest.

According to investigation, Calvey knowing about a 2.5-billion-ruble debt of the First Collector Bureau, a firm under his control, has organized the sale of its shares to Vostochny bank that has led to embezzlement.

The Investigative Committee claims that he committed a crime that could not be classified as business crime because he used a chain of sham companies settling the deal. Moreover, investigators say they have a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ audit report on the done deal estimating the sold shares at 600,000 rubles, which indicates an instance of fraud.

Calvey denies allegations insisting that the deal was fair as both companies agreed its terms and stood for it, including a person reporting an alleged crime to law enforcement bodies. He noted that a report has been filed with police by a member of Vostochny bank board of directors Sherzod Yusupov. According to Calvey, the real reason of his prosecution is a wide corporate dispute related to the control of the bank by two groups of shareholders: Baring Vostok and stockholders coming from Uniastrum bank, which was reorganized and joined to Vostochny in early 2017.

Baring Vostok company founded by Calvey in 1994 focuses on private equity investments in the CIS and Russia. The company has invested in shares of Yandex, Vkusvill, Tinkoff Bank and other major projects.