ST PETERSBURG, June 7 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he was closely following the embezzlement case against prominent U.S. businessman Michael Calvey and that Russian law enforcement agencies should work to establish whether he was guilty or not.
Asked about Calvey’s detention, Putin said at the St Petersburg economic forum that everyone should respect the law.
He added that Calvey, founder of the Baring Vostok private equity group who is being held under house arrest, was not considered guilty until a court proved otherwise.
Calvey, who was detained in February, was released from jail in April and placed under house arrest after several prominent officials and businesspeople called for his release.
He denies wrongdoing and says the case is a way of pressuring him in a dispute over the control of a Russian bank.
The Kremlin said this week it wanted Calvey freed but would not intervene in the case, which has rattled Russia’s business community.
The St Petersburg International Economic Forum is used by Moscow to burnish the country’s image as an investment destination.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman is boycotting the flagship investor forum to protest against Moscow’s prosecution of Calvey. (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh, Katya Golubkova and Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Maria Kiselyova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by Louise Heavens)