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A Russian court released U.S. investor Michael Calvey on Thursday after two months in jail and placed him under house arrest, softening his treatment in a fraud case that has rattled the business community.
U.S. investor and founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group Michael Calvey, who was detained on suspicion of fraud, leaves the court after his hearing in Moscow, Russia April 11, 2019.
Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group, was detained in February pending a trial on embezzlement charges that he denies and that he says are being used to pressure him in a corporate dispute over control of a Russian bank.
“Despite this corporate conflict that has led to criminal prosecution, I would like to underline what I have always said: I continue to believe in Russia’s investment potential,” Calvey said from a glass cage.
Dressed casually in jeans, the Wisconsin-born 51-year-old spoke to a packed courtroom in fluent, slightly accented Russian. He insisted that he posed no flight risk as it was a question of “honour” for him to restore a business reputation he made over almost 30 years working in Russia.
The court ruled to place him under house arrest until Saturday and investigators have called for the court at a hearing on Friday to extend the house arrest order until July 14.
Several prominent officials and businessmen had lobbied for the release of Calvey and other Baring Vostok executives detained with him, and had called their pre-trial incarceration unduly harsh.
Senior pro-business figures in Russia’s establishment say the case has had a chilling effect on the business climate that is already under pressure from Western sanctions, sluggish economic growth and rouble volatility.
In a gesture of support for the embattled equity group, Kirill Dmitriev, head of Russia’s RDIF sovereign wealth fund, told Reuters his organization plans to jointly invest with Baring Vostok in the next couple of months.
Dmitriev said he could not give further details, other than that the deal was in the technology sector and that the overall value of the joint investment would be under $100 million.
Prosecutors told the court they were happy for Calvey to be released from custody as he had three children, as well as property in Russia, and that several prominent businessmen had publicly vouched for him.
Baring Vostok, one of Russia’s oldest private equity groups, said it hoped that similar steps would also be made to release the fund’s other detained executives.
Baring Vostok partners Vagan Abgaryan and Philippe Delpal as well as investment director Ivan Zyuzin remain in detention.
Samson Siasia ban for life by Fifa
Former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia has been banned for life and fined $50,000 by Fifa for agreeing to ‘the manipulation of matches.’
Siasia was coach of Nigeria between 2010-2011 and for a spell in 2016 but the time period when Fifa believes he committed his infractions is unclear.
He has also served as coach of the country’s Under-20 and Under-23 sides.
In a statement, Siasia was found ‘guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches.’
The sanction stems from an ongoing ‘large-scale investigation’ Fifa is conducting into the behaviour of Wilson Raj Perumal, a convicted match-fixer from Singapore.
He is the third African to be banned by Fifa for his links to Perumal after former Sierra Leone FA official Abu Bakarr Kabba and former Botswana FA official Mooketsi Kgotlele were suspended in July for five years and for life respectively.
A former international, Siasia won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria, for whom he played over 50 times while scoring 16 goals.
Liverpool sweat over Adrian fitness
Liverpool first choice keeper Allison Becker missed the UEFA Super cup final against Chelsea Fc due to calf injury.
Jurgen Klopp has stated they could play their second Permier League game against Southampton on Saturday without Adrian after a collision with a pitch invader.
Manager Jurgen Klopp says the Spaniard was injured during post-match celebrations following Liverpool’s win over Chelsea in the Super Cup on Wednesday.
“A supporter jumped over something, was chased by some security guys, slipped and kicked his ankle. Crazy,” Klopp said after Adrian saved Tammy Abraham’s penalty in the shootout win.”
He added: “Apart from that it was a brilliant night for him.”
Adrian was injured by a fan shortly after his team-mates congratulated him for the decisive penalty save during the Super Cup shootout
The incident happened as the Liverpool players were huddled together celebrating the match-winning save.
A supporter, attempting to join the group, ran towards them, slipping as he was grabbed by a steward, and collided with several players.
Klopp said: “There’s no doubt about how much we love our fans, there’s no doubt about that at all, but if they all could stop doing that – that’s the worst example we have so far heard about.
“We played against Manchester City and someone ran on the pitch then.
“At Norwich, there was someone as well.
“I don’t know what you can do about it in the stadium but that means there is a lot of responsibility for the supporters as well. If the one person cannot hesitate or stop himself, then the people around should do it because it’s not funny. It’s crazy. You think ‘wow, how can something like this happen?'”
Liverpool’s third-choice keeper Andy Lonergan, 35, who was an unused substitute for the game in Istanbul which finished 2-2 after extra time, could deputise for Adrian if the 32-year-old is ruled out.
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