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Moscow House Arrest of US Investor Extended

FILE- Founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group Michael Calvey sits inside a defendants' cage as he attends a court hearing in Moscow, Feb. 15, 2019.

A Russian court has extended the house arrest of U.S. investor Michael Calvey and his partner, French national Philippe Delpal, until February 13.

Moscow's Basmanny district court announced the ruling on January 9, four days before the previous extension of the two men's house arrest was set to expire.

The court also prolonged the house arrest of two Russian citizens — former Vostochny Bank CEO Aleksei Kordichev and former Vostochny Bank investment director Aleksandr Tsakunov — until February 13 as well.

Calvey and several other executives and employees of the Russian-based private-equity group Baring Vostok were detained in Moscow in February last year and charged with financial fraud.

They all deny any wrongdoing and say the case is being used against them in a corporate dispute over the control of a Russian bank. Calvey was released to house arrest in April.

The arrests stunned many Western investors and drew complaints from high-level Russian business leaders and government officials, who questioned the motivation of the courts and prosecutors.

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 two Americans currently facing potential trial in Russia on charges supporters say are groundless. Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, has been behind bars since December 28, 2018, when he was arrested on an espionage charge he denies.