A prosecutor has asked a Moscow court to hand prominent U.S. investor Michael Calvey a six-year suspended sentence in his high-profile embezzlement case.
The state prosecutor on July 15 also asked the Meshchansky district court to hand a five-year suspended prison term to Calvey’s associate, Philippe Delpal, who is a French national, and suspended prison terms between four years and five years to five other defendants in the case.
The trial of Calvey, the founder of the private equity group Baring Vostok, Delpal, and five other associates -- Russian citizens Vagan Abgaryan, Ivan Zyuzin, Maksim Vladimirov, Aleksei Kordichev, and Aleksandr Tsakunov -- started on February 2, almost two years after their arrest.
They have been under house arrest during the trial.
The defendants all deny any wrongdoing, saying the charges against them are being used to pressure them in a business dispute over control of Vostochny Bank.
The case has rattled Russia’s business community and prompted several prominent officials and businessmen to voice concerns about the treatment of the executives.
Baring Vostok is one of the largest and oldest private-equity firms operating in Russia. It was founded in the early 1990s and manages more than $3.7 billion in assets. The company was an early major investor in Yandex, Russia's dominant search engine.
Calvey is one of several Americans currently held in Russia on charges their supporters say are groundless.
Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was sentenced in June 2020 to 16 years on espionage charges, which he has rejected.
Another former U.S. Marine, Trevor Reed, was sentenced to nine years in prison in late July 2020 after a Moscow court found him guilty of assaulting two police officers, a charge that he refused to admit.