Baring Vostok founder Calvey charged with fraud amid diplomatic row over access

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Russian state prosecutors have charged US investor and Baring Vostok founder Michael Calvey with fraud, as Washington accuses the country of denying diplomats access to him.

Hours after he was charged on Thursday, the US embassy in Moscow claimed that Russia had been denying its diplomats access to Calvey.

A statement issued by the embassy said it requested this access multiple times, yet had not been allowed to provide consular assistance. “We insist on access now,” the statement said.

Calvey has been detained alongside three other Baring Vostok executives and is accused embezzling RUB2.5bn ($38.17m) in connection with firm portfolio company Vostochny Express Bank, allegations which he has denied.

He is due to appeal his arrest next week and is currently being held in a cell with seven other people, a member of a public commission for the rights of inmates Ivan Melnikov told Reuters.

Calvey is experiencing back pain and is sharing his cell with people held over ‘non-economic crimes’, Melnikov added.

The case opened last week after one of Vostochny’s minority shareholders, Sherzod Yusupov, filed a complaint, Bloomberg reports.

Calvey said during a prior hearing that Yusupov, alongside Vostochny shareholder Artem Avetisyan, had brought the charges to force BVCP to drop claims against them filed in a London court the previous year.

He has accused the pair of siphoning off assets from a bank they controlled that was combined with Vostochny, Bloomberg added.

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