Moscow theater director charged with embezzlement put under house arrest
MOSCOW, August 23 (RAPSI) – The Basmanny District Court of Moscow has ruled to put the artistic director of the Gogol Center theater, Kirill Serebrennikov, charged with embezzlement, under house arrest, RAPSI learnt in the courtroom on Wednesday.
The court has extended Serebrennikov’s house arrest until October 19. Motion to release the defendant on bail was dismissed.
On Tuesday, the theater director was arrested by law enforcement officers. Investigators believe that Serebrennikov organized embezzlement of 68 million rubles ($1.1 million). He denied wrongdoing.
According to investigators, Serebrennikov developed the Platforma project for promotion of art in 2011 and received allocated funds of 214 million rubles (about $3.6 million) from the Ministry of Culture in 2011-2014.
Investigators believe that Serebrennikov created Seventh Studio stage company to actualize the project and invited former head of the company Yury Itin, ex- general producer Alexey Malobrodsky and former chief accountant Nina Maslyayeva, among others, into organization.
Investigators allege that on request of the theater director Itin, Malobrodsky and Maslyayeva were falsifying data for the Platforma project’s plans in 2011-2014. This data was provided to the Ministry of Culture as rationale for financing from the state budget.
Earlier, Maslyayeva, who stands charged with embezzling public funds allocated for promotion of art, has testified against Serebrennikov.
Maslyayeva said that Serebrennikov, Malobrodsky and Itin organized embezzlement of money allocated for a cultural event. Serebrennikov and Malobrodsky cashed the money with the assistance of Maslyayeva. The woman also said that she put falsified data in financial reports.
On May 23, police raided the Gogol Center as part of investigation into the case. Searches have also been conducted in premises of Serebrennikov. Later, he was questioned as a witness in the case.