High-profile Moscow fraud trial of award-winning theater and movie director Kirill Serebrennikov ends with responsible verdict

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Kirill Serebrennikov has all the time been a polarizing artist. A favourite of Russia’s liberal intelligentsia, he has been scorned for years by cultural conservatives. Now, even his very public embezzlement case has divided society.

On Friday morning, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court discovered that Serebrennikov, alongside along with his fellow accused from the Seventh Studio theater group, had stolen round 129 million rubles ($1.eight million) of presidency cash granted for his or her Platform drama mission.

The creative elite in Moscow has rallied round Serebrennikov, with the likes of rapper Oxxxymiron and ‘Vikings’ star Danila Kozlovsky pledging their help for the director. His defenders say the fees are politically motivated, impressed by his works’ anti-establishment themes and his look at Moscow protests. For his half, Serebrennikov has labeled them “absurd.” He insists that the cash, made up of state grants, was used correctly.

With a crowd gathered exterior, the choose introduced that, Serebrennikov – alongside along with his fellow Seventh Studio board members Yuri Itin and Alexey Malobrodsky – was responsible of theft. The different accused, Sofia Apfelbaum, an worker of the Ministry of Culture, was declared to have been an confederate with out realizing “the criminal intentions and the criminal nature of what was happening.” She was discovered responsible of negligence.

“Serebrennikov carried out the general management of the criminal scheme,” Justice of the Peace Olesya Mendeleeva introduced, concluding that the group acted “with the aim of embezzling budgetary funds.”

According to investigators, workers of the Seventh Studio appropriated the cash by way of fictitious contracts and overestimated prices. The 4 accused all deny their guilt.

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Reacting to the information, the Kremlin mentioned the conviction marks an opportune second for the federal government to research its spending on tradition. “Serebrennikov’s case is an occasion to carefully study how public funds are spent in cultural institutions in order to reduce potential corruption,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov instructed reporters. “This is the function of the Ministry of Culture.”

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