MOSCOW, October 23 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court on Friday postponed appeals against sentence in a high-profile Seventh Studio stage company embezzlement case until November 18 because of the COVID-19 illness of convicted Director of the Russian Academic Youth Theater Sophia Apfelbaum, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.
According to her attorney Irina Poverinova, Apfelbaum tested positive for coronavirus on October 15. She is self-isolated and treated at home, the lawyer added.
Appeals have been filed by all defendants except the Gogol Centre theater director Kirill Serebrennikov.
On June 26, the court passed a 3-year suspended sentence and an 800,000-ruble fine on the Gogol Center theater director Kirill Serebrennikov for embezzlement of 129 million rubles (about $2 million) of budget funds allocated for the theater project Platforma. Ex-head of Seventh Studio Yury Itin also received a 3-year suspended term and a fine. Producer Alexey Malobrodsky was given a 2-year suspended sentence and a fine.
Director of the Russian Academic Youth Theater Sophia Apfelbaum received a fine but was released from its payment due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
The court also granted a 129 million-ruble civil suit. Serebrennikov, Itin and Malobrodsky are to pay the money.
The court found that Serebrennikov and Itin had committed embezzlement involving Malobrodsky in the crime. However, Apfelbaum was not aware of their criminal plans but provided for the approval of the Platforma financial plans submitted by Serebrennikov. However, the court found Apfelbaum guilty of negligence resulted in grave damage.
According to investigators, defendants in the case stole 133 of 214 million rubles ($3.3 million) of budget funds allocated to the Seventh Studio company in 2011-2014 for development and popularization of contemporary art in Russia as part of the project Platforma.
Serebrennikov was arrested in late August 2017 and then placed under house arrest. In early November, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court seized assets belonging to Serebrennikov including apartment, car, and money in the amount of more than 360,000 rubles ($5,300), over €60,000, and $4,000.