July 13, 2020

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Kirill Serebrennikov: Russian movie and stage director convicted of fraud

Kirill Serebrennikov: Russian film and stage director convicted of fraud

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Reuters

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Kirill Serebrennikov, putting on a protective experience mask, was greeted by supporters outside the house the court docket in Moscow

Prominent Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov has received a 3-year suspended sentence just after currently being discovered guilty of embezzlement.

He and two many others ended up convicted of misappropriating £1.5m ($1.86m) of condition cash for a theatre venture.

Serebrennikov has referred to as the costs laughable. His supporters say the scenario aims to stifle artistic expression.

But the Russian government reported the verdict would provide as a warning in opposition to corruption in the arts.

The film and phase director, a nicely-identified critic of arts censorship in Russia, was greeted by a crowd of effectively-wishers as he arrived for his court docket listening to on Friday. He and quite a few other folks wore experience masks to safeguard versus the coronavirus.

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Media captionSerebrennikov’s to start with court docket appearance in 2017 drew protests

Inside the Moscow courthouse, the decide explained the director and co-defendants Yury Itin and Konstantin Malobrodsky had “carried out actions directed at personalized enrichment” and misled team at the culture ministry.

Serebrennikov was positioned on probation for 3 decades, fined, and banned from overseeing a cultural organisation.

“Kirill is devastated by the conviction but extremely delighted to be going house,” claimed his lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov.

Itin and Malobrodsky were also given suspended sentences and purchased to pay out fines.

What was the director accused of?

The situation relates to a modern-art job named Platforma, which ran between 2011 and 2014.

Prosecutors explained Serebrennikov experienced shaped a prison group with his co-defendants to signal contracts for non-existent companies and pocketed the dollars.

He has long insisted the revenue was effectively used for the intended goal. The circumstance practically collapsed at 1 point, when a decide sent it back to prosecutors because of “inconsistencies”.

The trial resumed with a new judge, who backed the claims. The prosecution had requested for a 6-year jail sentence, but Serebrennikov received a a few-year suspended expression.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the scenario justified “a thorough investigation of how condition resources are invested in cultural establishments so that there is a lot less scope for corruption in this region”.

Who is Serebrennikov?

The 50-12 months-outdated heads one particular of Moscow’s most well known theatre venues, the Gogol Centre.

A stringent critic of arts censorship in Russia, he has warned that “every thing is returning to the most pathetic Soviet tactics”.

Serebrennikov’s ballet production about the dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who defected during the Cold War, was cancelled in 2017.

Described as just one of the most anticipated ballets of the time, it was pulled even though Serebrennikov was put below residence arrest for the alleged embezzlement.

  • Ballet premiere cancelled at Bolshoi
  • Group demands Russian director’s launch

His detention was observed by quite a few as politically determined and led to an outcry in the arts planet – in Russia and past.

A petition gathered extra than 50,000 signatures urging Russian officers “to fall the flimsy accusation”. Overseas signatories integrated actresses Cate Blanchett and Nina Hoss, and the film director Lars von Trier.

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