Moscow court frees stage director Kirill Serebrennikov from house arrest
Moscow’s City Court has freed three defendants in the “Seventh Studio” case from house arrest, releasing them on their own recognizance, overturning an April 2 ruling by the Meshchansky District Court that extended the suspects’ arrests until July 2019. The new ruling applies to stage director Kirill Serebrennikov, Russian Academic Youth Theater director Sofia Apfelbaum, and former Seventh Studio theater company general director Yuri Itin. Serebrennikov, the most famous of the three, had been under house arrest since August 2017.
Update: Leaving the courthouse, Serebrennikov told reporters that he will soon resume his work at Moscow's Gogol Center, Russia’s leading avant-garde theater. “It isn't easy psychologically, but there's much to do. We've got plays, rehearsals... But I'll say this again: nothing has ended. We will continue to prove our innocence in court,” the stage director said.
What is the “Seventh Studio” case? The defendants are charged with stealing 133 million rubles ($2 million) allocated by Russia’s Culture Ministry to the “Platforma” theater project. All the suspects, with the exception of former chief accountant Nina Maslyaeva, maintain their innocence, insisting that the funds were used only to stage performances.