Arif Naqvi, the founder of buyout fund Abraaj Group, has been released from custody almost a month after being granted a record £15 million ($19 million) conditional bail.
Naqvi was freed Tuesday night after the security was paid, his spokesman said Wednesday. Westminster Magistrates Court confirmed it had sent a "release notice" — an instruction that he can be let out — to Wandsworth prison in south London, where he'd been held.
"These past weeks have been an extremely challenging time for Mr. Naqvi and his family," his spokesman said. "He maintains his innocence, and he fully expects to be cleared of any charges."
Mr. Naqvi, who's caught up in a U.S. fraud probe, was granted conditional bail on May 3, but remained in jail for almost four more weeks because of the time it took to pay the security bond, which Mr. Naqvi's lawyer said was the largest ever ordered in the U.K.
During his bail, Mr. Naqvi must surrender his travel documents, wear an electronic tag and stay in his London home. The bail conditions "effectively amount to house arrest," Judge Michael Supperstone said when he approved bail this month.
Mr. Naqvi is one of several Abraaj officials caught up in a probe of what had been the Middle East's biggest private equity fund. He is charged with inflating the value of the Dubai-based firm's holdings and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars. He denies the accusations and says the idea he took money out for his own personal benefit is "ludicrous."
Mr. Naqvi "has repeatedly stated his commitment to be a positive force in resolving this situation for all stakeholders," his spokesman said Wednesday.