Russia softens stance in foreign investor case, frees Frenchman

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia softened its stance in a high-profile legal standoff that has shaken foreign investors when a court on Thursday freed jailed French private equity executive Philippe Delpal from custody and placed him under house arrest instead. Delpal was one of several executives at private equity group Baring Vostok, including U.S. citizen Michael Calvey, who were detained in February on suspicion of embezzlement, an allegation they flatly deny.

Reuters August 16, 2019 01:05:41 IST
Russia softens stance in foreign investor case, frees Frenchman

Russia softens stance in foreign investor case frees Frenchman

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia softened its stance in a high-profile legal standoff that has shaken foreign investors when a court on Thursday freed jailed French private equity executive Philippe Delpal from custody and placed him under house arrest instead.

Delpal was one of several executives at private equity group Baring Vostok, including U.S. citizen Michael Calvey, who were detained in February on suspicion of embezzlement, an allegation they flatly deny.

They say the case against them is part of a vicious corporate dispute over control of a Russian bank.

Thursday's ruling comes days before President Vladimir Putin is due to travel to France next week to hold talks with President Emmanuel Macron, at which Delpal's fate is likely to be discussed.

The case against Baring Vostok has rattled Russia's business community and prompted several prominent officials and businessmen to voice concerns about the treatment of the executives.

Amid the outcry, Putin said in June that Delpal had not been released from house arrest earlier this year because he did not own property in Moscow.

The comments prompted Delpal's wife to buy an apartment, but the court had nonetheless decided to keep him in jail until now, according to media reports.

Russia's RDIF sovereign wealth fund welcomed the move to place Delpal under house arrest and said in a statement it hoped that the terms of custody for Russian executives being held would also be relaxed.

Calvey, who was moved from jail to house arrest in April, had hoped to win his full release at an appeal on Thursday, but the court ruled to keep him under house arrest.

(Reporting by Polina Ivanova, Katya Golubkova, Andrey Ostroukh, Maria Vasilyeva; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.