Moscow court released French partner of Baring Vostok Capital Partners Philippe Delpal from pre-trial detention and put him under house arrest on Thursday August 15.
The Financial Times commented that the release followed after intense lobbying from the Franco-Russian business community, as well as direct appeals to the President Vladimir Putin ahead of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron next week.
Russia's most famous fund manager Michael Calvey, BVCP founder, was released to house arrest in April, but two other executives and the former head of a debt collector owned remain in custody. As reported by bne IntelliNews, despite the uproar of the investment community, recently BVCP has suffered legal defeats in both Russia and London on the case.
Reportedly, Patrick Pouyanné, chief executive of French oil and gas producer Total, raised the issue of Delpal’s detention during a private one-to-one meeting with Putin in April. Total is the strategic partner and one of the main investors in Russia's second-largest gas producer and global liquefied natural gas runner-up Novatek.
Calvey and several of his colleagues from BVCP were arrested in February after the Federal Security Service (FSB) opened an investigation into an accusation that BVCP illegally mispriced shares in the Oriental Express Bank (OEB). Calvey is accused of RUB2.5bn ($37.5mn) embezzlement.
It was widely assumed that other shareholders of OEB struck back by using his friendship with Dmitry Patrushev, the son of the former director of the FSB, to launch the investigation as a way to pressuring BVCP to withdraw the London lawsuit concerning a proposed capital injection by shareholders in OEB.