The court returned the case of thefts in the "Seventh Studio" directed by Kirill Serebrennikov to the prosecutor's office. This decision was made due to contradictions in the position of the prosecution.
“The court ruled: to return the case to the prosecutor’s office in connection with the contradictions that hinder its examination on the merits and sentencing,” RIA Novosti quoted the words of Judge Irina Akkuratova.
The judge herself raised the issue of returning the case to the prosecutor's office - the charge was against. Earlier, the examination found that there was no theft in the studio. The prosecutor’s office did not agree and intended to challenge the conclusions, but the judge pointed out the absence of other details in the indictment - it didn’t say which specific activities under the Platform project were carried out, it did not explain what the understatement was. Also in the indicated amounts there were inaccuracies.
In this regard, Judge Akkuratova also decided to cancel Serebrennikov’s recognizance not to leave.
“Given the circumstances and the decision to return the case to the prosecutor’s office, the court decides to cancel the preventive measure,” she said.
The restraint measure was also canceled for the other persons involved in the case of the Seventh Studio. The defense of the accused considers this decision legal, but declined to comment on whether the case will again be considered by the court. The prosecutor's office has 10 days to challenge the court decision.
Note that the director already has plans for the near future. In early June, he said that in the winter the shooting of the film “Petrov in the Flu and Around It” will begin, based on the novel of the same name by Alexei Salnikov.
“We plan to start in winter, winter is there,” Serebrennikov said during a meeting with spectators at the Oktyabr movie theater as part of a Kinotavra retrospective.
“I will be pleased when everything is over”
On April 8, Serebrennikov and other defendants in the Seventh Studio case were released from house arrest on his own recognizance. The director was under arrest for more than a year and a half. However, after his release he noted that he would be satisfied only after he was found not guilty.
“I will be pleased when everything is over and we will prove that we are not to blame. And so, of course, more pleasant, ”RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
The decision to release Serebrennikov was supported by his colleagues.
“I literally started screaming with happiness. It overwhelms. Despite the fact that this is only a small step forward, for us all this is a huge victory. Because 594 days Serebrennikov was under house arrest. For 594 days a person was not allowed to work, and work for Cyril is the meaning of life, ”said Gogol Center actress Julia Aug in a conversation with RT.
“I plead not guilty”
Recall that in 2017 searches were carried out in Serebrennikov’s apartment and the Gogol Center theater he created, and a criminal case was launched on embezzlement on a particularly large scale. Charges to the director were presented in August, he was placed under house arrest.
In 2011, Serebrennikov created the Platform project to popularize contemporary art in Russia. The program for this project was developed by the autonomous non-profit organization Seventh Studio, also founded by the director.
According to investigators, the Ministry of Culture of Russia allocated 214 million rubles to Platforma, but the Seventh Studio stole more than 130 million of them. To do this, according to the prosecutor's office, the team concluded fictitious agreements for non-existent events and provided false information about the projects.
In addition to Serebrennikov, the accused in this case are the ex-director of Gogol Center Alexei Malobrodsky, producer Yuri Itin, director of the Russian Academic Youth Theater Sofya Apfelbaum and accountant of Seventh Studio Nina Maslyaeva. The latter pleaded guilty, and therefore her case is considered separately.
The case caused a wide resonance, and many cultural figures, journalists and public figures stood up for Serebrennikov. Almost 80 people vouched for him, including Fedor Bondarchuk, Danila Kozlovsky, Philipp Kirkorov, Pavel Lungin, Alisa Freindlikh, Stanislav Govorukhin and Oleg Basilashvili. Serebrennikov himself and the others deny their guilt.
“I plead not guilty, I have never stolen anything from anyone and didn’t steal or form any criminal group other than theatrical,” he said during a meeting in November 2017.