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Prosecutor proposes six-year prison sentence for Russian director accused in ‘Seventh Studio’ case

Source: Meduza

During the June 22nd hearing of the “Seventh Studio” case, prosecutors asked the court to sentence well-known theater and film director Kirill Serebrennikov to six years in prison and fine him 800,000 rubles (around $11,525), Meduza’s correspondent reported from the courtroom. 

Serebrennikov and the other defendants in the Seventh Studio case stand accused of embezzling 133 million rubles (now more than $1.9 million) allocated for the “Platforma” theater project by Russia’s Culture Ministry.

In turn, prosecutors sought a five-year prison sentence for producer Alexey Malobrodsky, along with a 300,000 ruble fine (approximately $4,320). 

The prosecutors also asked for four-year prison sentences and 200,000 ruble fines ($2,880) for both director Sofya Apfelbaum and producer Yury Itin. 

According to the prosecution, all of the defendants should also be barred from holding certain positions for a period of three years.

“The prosecution considers the guilt of all of the suspects in the case proven. At the same time, the prosecution is correcting the amount of damages from 133,237 rubles to 128,974 rubles,” the prosecutor said (as quoted by TASS), amending the amount of money that must be recovered from the defendants in the case to approximately $1.86 million.

All of the defendants in the case have denied the charges against them, with the exception of former Seventh Studio head accountant Nina Maslyayeva. Directors Kirill Serebrennikov and Sofya Apfelbaum as well as producers Yury Itin and Alexey Malobrodsky all say the grant money they received was used only to stage theatrical productions as planned.

On June 22, more than 3,700 cultural figures signed an open letter to the head of Russia’s Culture Ministry, Olga Lyubimova, asking that the department withdraw the lawsuit against the defendants in the Seventh Studio case.

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