Igor KOZLOV, “the FACTS”
On Friday, June 26, petty-bourgeois court of Moscow has recognized guilty of fraud in especially large sizes of world famous film Director Kirill Serebrennikov, a former General producer Association “the Seventh Studio” by Alexei Malopolska and former Director General of the Association of Yuri itina. The court was limited to conditional terms. Cyril was given three years probation. The Prosecutor asked to sentence Serebrenikova as the organizer of criminal group to six years in a penal colony, Malopolska — five years, Idina — four.
None of the defendants pleaded not guilty. The case of the “Seventh Studio” from the start raised a lot of questions. The investigation was based on the testimony of former accountant of the project “Platform” Nina Massieu. Pieces of silver was the creative head of the “Platform”. He conceived it to implement many theatre productions in Russia and abroad. Many of them were awarded various prizes and diplomas.
However, in the first stage of the investigation, when he still passed on business as the witness, the investigators argued that the “Platform” extorted money from the Ministry of culture, but nothing of the promised and not implemented. Such an accusation from the beginning seemed ridiculous.
Maslyaeva was arrested first. She was accused of illegal financial transactions, the purpose of which was cashing in of budgetary funds allocated to “Platform”. Accountant as sure lawyers Serebrennikov, Malopolska and itina, as well as former workers of the Ministry of culture Sofia Apfelbaum (judge Olesya Mendeleva in the verdict noted that Apfelbaum “was not aware of the criminal nature of what is happening”), agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and stipulated to their clients, to shield their own dirty work.
So, Maslyaeva confessed that cashed tens of millions of rubles, concluding fictitious contracts with various firms. The money she gave Serebrennikov, the Malopolski and Itino. She also admitted that he personally received from these transactions to 5 million rubles. However, in the course of the trial Maslyaeva failed to disclose the specific circumstances of the theft of money by the leadership of the “Seventh Studio” and “Platform”. All financial records were destroyed. The accountant argues that to do this she was told pieces of silver. However, under investigation, the former producer of the “Platform” Ekaterina Voronova, which is hiding somewhere abroad, stated several times through various media that the destruction of documents was her initiative and this had no relationship.
Theft, according to prosecutors, was done in 2011-2012. First searches in the apartment Serebrennikov theater “Gogol-center” held in may 2017. In late August, the Director was arrested and charged. Then the investigation claimed that the budget was stolen more than 200 million rubles. Cyril was placed under house arrest. He was forbidden to attend the rehearsals, the set of (completed work on the film “Summer”), to use the Internet. In these difficult conditions Serebrennikov still managed to complete a number of projects. “Summer” in the result was shown in may 2018 at the Cannes international film festival, where it is enthusiastically accepted by the critics and audience.
In defense of the famous Director made hundreds of celebrities both in Russia and in Europe and in the United States. They all appealed to the Russian authorities and personally to President Vladimir Putin to ensure Serebrennikov and others accused in the case, “the Seventh Studio” impartial investigation and a fair trial.
Since financial documents are not left, was assigned to the examination. The first was conducted in 2017. It was alleged that the leadership of the “Seventh Studio” stole all 214 million rubles received from the state through the Ministry of culture.
The lawyers insisted on a second examination. The results were obtained in 2019 and was an unpleasant surprise for the Prosecutor. Experts, estimating the cost of all the projects implemented by “Platform” came to the conclusion that they had spent much more than 214 million rubles! This meant that silver didn’t steal anything. Moreover, the added funds received due to the success of his other productions. The judge made the decision to release Cyril from house arrest, and the case was send to the Prosecutor for further investigation.
There is this not happy, and appointed the third examination. The results announced in early June. Now prosecutors alleged that silver, Malopolski and Itin stole 129 million rubles allocated for the Platform 214 million rubles. Therefore, the case was again sent to court without further investigation, only on the basis of the third examination.
After that more than 3000 artists wrote a letter to the Minister of culture of Russia Olga Lyubimova, urging them to withdraw the claim of the Agency against the government. “Now Your involvement in this matter, from the fairness of Your position on the future of the decent talented people who have made a significant contribution to the development of Russian theatre”, — said in the letter. Its Memorandum was signed by Alla Demidova, Liya Akhedzhakova, Danila Kozlovsky, Chulpan Khamatova, Valery Todorovsky, Sati Spivakova, Anatoly Vasiliev, Yury Butusov and many others. Lyubimov suing you did not. Today, June 26, the Minister of culture reiterated that the defendants, “the Seventh Studio” has committed a crime.
In defense of the government were also made by the managers and Directors of a number of leading theatres of Europe. Cyril has worked with many of them, put Opera. In particular, the artistic Director and chief Director of the Berlin theater, the Komische Oper Berlin Barry Koski said DW: “I am outraged by the scandalous news that our friend and beloved colleague Kirill Serebrennikov faces a six-year term. This is an international incident. And we, the international theatre community, should do everything possible to convince the authorities that pursue Cyril, to stop this process”.
Before the building of the Meshchansky court in Moscow has gathered hundreds of people. They applauded Serebrennikov so loud that they could hear the judge Mendeleva. Among those who came to the court, the leader of the rock group “Animals” Roma Beast. He played one of the leading roles in the movie “Summer”. Musician and actor told reporters he did not believe in a just verdict. From the outset it was clear that Cyril found guilty despite the absurdity of the charges. “But not to be here tonight I couldn’t,” said Roma Beast.
Olesya Mendeleva could not hear the applause and the shouts of the police, demanding that the crowd immediately dispersed, because it violates the rules of safe range, the current due to the coronavirus. Perhaps the events had any impact on the judge. Recognizing Serebrennikov, Malopolska and itina embezzling nearly 129 million rubles, it made all three of probation. The Director was sentenced to three years probation. He also must pay a fine of 800 thousand rubles. Yuri Itin also sentenced to three years probation and a fine of 200 thousand rubles. Alex Malopolski received two years probation and fined 200 thousand rubles. Sophia Apfelbaum fined 100 thousand rubles, but freed from paying the fine.
In addition, the court ordered to satisfy the claim of the Ministry of culture on recovery 129 million rubles. In this regard, the property Serebrennikov, Malopolska and Atina will remain under arrest until full compensation for damages incurred by the state.
Earlier, the “FACTS” reported that the film made a splash at Cannes in may 2018. Cyril himself was unable to attend the festival, since then, was still under house arrest.