14:37 GMT31 May 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov voiced the belief on Friday that French banker Philippe Delpal, charged with defrauding a Russian lender of almost $40 million, had been released on house arrest due to multiple rounds of talks that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, had held on the matter.

    "As you know, Philippe Delpal — a French businessman and a Baring Vostok partner — was released from prison [pre-trial detention facility] on August 15 and transferred under house arrest. As I see it, this happened because the French president has repeatedly discussed this with our president. And now the court made such a decision exactly ahead of [Putin's] visit [to France]," Ushakov told reporters.

    Putin will pay a one-day visit to France on August 19.

    The Moscow City Court released Delpal, a partner at the Baring Vostok private equity group, on house arrest on Thursday, upholding his defence's complaint against his detention.

    The French banker was arrested in February, along with Baring Vostok founder, US national Michael Calvey, who has been held under house arrest since April.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in early June why Delpal had not been released from the detention facility, while Calvey had been placed under house arrest.

    Putin said that this was due to the fact that Calvey had a flat in Moscow, while Delpal did not. After that, the family of the French banker purchased a flat in the Russian capital.

    Emmanuel Macron, Vladimir Putin, house arrest, France, Russia
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