Moscow court leaves Baring Vostok partner Maksim Vladimirov in jail until at least January

By Ben Aris in Berlin November 6, 2019

A Moscow court extended the pre-trial detention of Maksim Vladimirov, one of three Russian nationals that worked with Russia’s top fund manager Michael Calvey of Baring Vostok, who was also arrested and charged with fraud earlier this year.

After Vladimirov had already spent nine months in jail waiting for the trial of the total of five Baring Vostok partners to begin, the judge ruled his detention be extended until January 13. As bne IntelliNews reported earlier, the ruling means that Vladimirov will spend at least a year in detention before the case even begins.

Baring Vostok fund managers US citizen Calvey and French citizen Philippe Delpal have been released to house arrest, but Vladimirov and two other Russian national colleagues have been held in detention where even their access to their families has been restricted.

The case has become a cause celebre as many in the Russian elite, including presidential Ombudsman for Business Boris Titov, has argued that the case is a commercial dispute, not a criminal one, and that none of the parties involved should have been arrested.

“We consider the decision of the Mosgorsud to uphold the pre-trial detention of Maxim Vladimirov unfounded,” Baring Vostok said in a statement after the ruling. “We are surprised that the court continues to take a selective approach to choosing the form of detention for defendants in the same criminal case: just months ago, Michael Calvey and Philippe Delpal were moved to house arrest, while Maxim has been held in a detention centre without the right to communicate with his family, and will remain there until the trumped-up charges brought by the corporate raiders are considered on the merits.”

The Basman district court judge Irina Vyrysheva concurred with the investigators' claim that Vladimirov may attempt to hide or destroy documents relevant to the case or try to pressure witnesses if he were released.

Vladimirov is a leading businessman amongst Russia’s profession elite that has emerged to run the country’s top companies in the last decade. With degrees in jurisprudence, economics and finance from top Russian universities, Vladimirov also has an MBA from the Open University in the UK. He has been CEO at several leading Russian financial agencies and insurance companies with over 15 years of working in the financial industry, where he has managed companies with billions of rubles turnover and hundreds of employees. Together with two colleagues, Ivan Zyuzin and Vagan Abgaryan, Vladimirov has already spent nine months in jail.

“Such shameless justifications for holding these individuals in prison only confirms the absence of any legitimate legal grounds to keep our colleagues in custody,” Baring said, refuting the claim that Vladimirov or any of the three men would interfere in the evidence for the case.

The rulings came a day after the Moscow court extended the house arrest of Calvey and Delpal also until January 13. While both men have been released from detention, their freedoms remain extremely constrained, including limited access to their families and children.

Calvey denies any wrongdoing and says the case is being used against them in a corporate dispute over the control of Vostochniy Bank.

Baring Vostok is one of the largest and oldest private equity firms operating in Russia since the early 1990s, managing more than $3.7bn in assets.

The court also extended until January 13 the house arrest of another suspect in the high-profile case, Aleksei Kordichev. The court said Kordichev, the former chief of Vostochny Bank, has pleaded guilty and testified against other suspects in the case.

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