Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court ordered a comprehensive financial inspection in the case against several employees of “Seventh Studio,” a high-profile Russian theater organization led by the award-winning director Kirill Serebrennikov. The defendants are accused of embezzling 133 million rubles (over $2 million) in state-allocated funds, but the case against them contains a number of inconsistencies. Numerous high-profile figures in the Russian arts have argued that the case against Seventh Studio is politically motivated.
The defendants in the case, who had been under house arrest for more than a year, were released on April 8 after they pledged not to leave Russia while their trial proceeded. On April 11, a judge ordered the case against one of the central witnesses for the prosecution to be recalled for further consideration. Defense attorneys had expressed hope for a court-ordered inspection that could shift the state of the case even further in their favor.