MOSCOW, October 17. /TASS/. Moscow City’s Basmanny district court on Tuesday prolonged the house arrest authorization for theatrical producer Kirill Serebrennikov who is charged with embezzling the funds allocated for a theatrical project.
"The court ruled to answer a petition by the prosecutors and to prolong the house arrest authorization for Serebrennikov for another three months, or through to January 19," Justice Artur Karpov said.
Another two persons the court prolonged the arrest authorization for are Nina Masliayeva, the chief accounting officer of Sedmaya Studiya nonprofit institution and Yuri Intin, the former director general of the latter.
The court also ruled to extend custody for Alexei Malobrodsky, the director general of Gogol Center where Serebrennikov is the artistic supervisor.
The court did not let Serebrennikov go to St Petersburg to finalize the shooting of a film about the Perestroika rock musician Viktor Tsoi or to visit the Bolshoi for completing the production of a ballet devoted to the life of Rudolf Nureyev.
"The court turns down the appeals from the defense and leaves restrictions established by the appeals instance unabated," Justice Karpov said.
Charges to Serebrennikov were issued under Clause 4 of Article 159 of Russia’s Criminal Code spelling out punishment for gross swindles.
In 2011, the director drew up the Platforma project for development and promulgation of contemporary arts. The Russian Culture Ministry allocated 214 million rubles [roughly $ 7.14 million at an averaged exchange rate for the period mentioned here] from 2011 through 2014.
To implement the project, Serebrennikov set up the Sedmaya Studiya independent nonprofit organization where he invited his friends and acquaintances including aforementioned Malobrodsky, Intin and Masliayeva.
Investigators suggest that, pursuant to the instructions on the part of Serebrennikov and Intin, the executives involved in the Platforma project produced the documentation on events that contained purportedly overstates data on their number and costs. They submitted the documents later to the Culture Ministry as a substantiation for budgetary allocations.
These would be followed by financial reports to the Ministry where Sedmaya Studiya would claim it had spent the funding in full in strict compliance with the envisioned plans for events.