Interfax: Stage director Serebrennikov says charges brought against him absurd, asks court not to take him into custody

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

MOSCOW. Aug 23 (Interfax) – Stage director Kirill Serebrennikov, the art director of the Gogol Center theater, who has been charged with organizing the embezzlement of at least 68 million rubles allocated from the budget to Studio Seven, which he founded, for implementation of the Platforma theatrical project, has dismissed the charges as absurd.

“The charges brought against me are impossible and absurd,” Serebrennikov said at a hearing at Moscow’s Basmanny District Court, which is considering a pretrial restrictive measure for him on Wednesday.

“My position is that the Platforma project is up and running. The money allocated by the state has been spent on it. I am really proud of it,” Serebrennikov said.

He asked the court not to put him behind bars.

“I have worked in Russia for years, have carried out a lot of projects here, and I am not going to flee anywhere, and therefore I am asking you to let me go. I still have to complete several current projects,” he said.

Serebrennikov pointed out that he had not obstructed the investigation in any way.

“There has been no obstruction on my part. I have always turned up immediately upon the investigation’s demand, wherever I am,” he said.

As concerns the Platforma project, Serebrennikov argued that his studio has created a very lively and vibrant project important for Russia in that it has empowered a lot of young artists. “I was responsible for the project’s artistic element,” he said.

Serebrennikov said he was unaware of any irregularities that the employees related to finances might have committed.

The investigation has asked the court to put Serebrennikov under house arrest until October 19.