The Russian director Serebrennikov scoop three-year suspended prison sentence

Le réalisateur russe Serebrennikov écope de trois ans de prison avec sursis

Le réalisateur russe Serebrennikov écope de trois ans de prison avec sursis

Kirill Serebrennikov in his trial on Friday.

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June 26, 2020 9h38

Updated at 16h33

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The Russian director Serebrennikov scoop three-year suspended prison sentence

Maria Panina

Agence France-Presse

MOSCOW — The producer and stage director Kirill Serebrennikov, personality celebrated in the arts community in Russian, was sentenced Friday in Moscow and sentenced to three years suspended prison sentence for embezzlement in a case controversial.

This folder, which was opened three years ago, has been considered by supporters of the director as a matter of policy put to the test of artistic freedom in Russia.
“The rehabilitation of Serebrennikov is possible without actual sentence” of deprivation of liberty, said the judge Olessya Mendeleïeva, who was also sentenced to a fine of 800 000 rubles (15 000 $) and three years of probation.
The prosecution had requested six years in prison, against the artist who has always denied the charges against him. The announcement of the judgment, hundreds of his supporters gathered in front of the court Mechtchanski of the Russian capital have reacted by applause, who feared a heavy penalty of imprisonment.
“A huge thank you for your support and for the fact that you believe in our innocence”, was launched Kirill Serebrennikov, 50 years, to the output of the hearing protection mask black on the face.
“Follow the social distancing, do not contaminate each other ! Because it is necessary to fight for the truth,” he added, before the crowd of his supporters and journalists.
Artistic director of the Centre, Gogol, a famous theatre in moscow, director of the film, Leto noticed at the Cannes film Festival and director, he has been sentenced for the embezzlement between 2011 and 2014 of approximately $ 129 million rubles ($2.5 Million at the current rate) of public subsidies for”personal enrichment”.
“Even if it is suspended, it is terrible. But it will be free, and will be able to continue to create. And this, this is beautiful !” said to AFP Kirill Mintsev, costume designer at the Centre of Gogol.
Two other accused in the case, Yuri Itine and Konstantin Malobrodski, received suspended sentences of two and three years, respectively. A last, Sofia Apfelbaum, was fined she will not have to pay as covered by the prescription. She melted in tears at the statement of these sanctions.
The judge considered that the defendants had acted in band-organized and Kirill Serebrennikov had “directed all members of the group and took measures to conceal the theft. All announced that they would appeal.
The fact of this conviction, the investigative Committee of the Russian was reported to have seized property belonging to defendants : an apartment of Kirill Serebrennikov in Germany with a value of $ 460,000, cars, jewelry and money reaching a total of 135 000 $.

Le réalisateur russe Serebrennikov écope de trois ans de prison avec sursis

On his arrival at court Mechtchanski Moscow, Serebrennikov has been welcomed by the applause of hundreds of his supporters, kept at a distance from the building by metal barriers.

Photo AFP, Alexander Nemenov

Political retaliation

After the judgement, a spokesperson for the Cannes film Festival spoke of a “first relief” and expressed the hope that the accused would be exonerated.
Olivier Py, the director of the Avignon Festival, one close to Kirill Serebrennikov, was denounced to the AFP “a political trial, a return to the USSR stalin”.
“It was necessary to send a clear message to all the dissidents. It is him who pays the price, but he fought for the freedom of expression, the right to the difference. The homosexual cause that he has often staged in his shows is a cleaving in today’s Russia”, he added.
The spokesman of the German chancellor Angela Merkel, Steffen Seibert, has pointed out that “the right to freedom of expression” was also “Russia”.
Arrested in August 2017 on a shooting in St. Petersburg, Kirill Serebrennikov had been under house arrest in Moscow until April 2019. Number of Russian cultural figures, and foreign have expressed their support.
In September 2019, the justice had lifted his residency and returned the file to the public prosecutor, considering it as incomplete. But a new expert has concluded in early June that the director and his team had received an overpayment of approximately $ 129 million of rubles of state aid.
Kirill Serebrennikov has accused the investigators of “pressures” on the main witness of the prosecution, the former accountant of his troop, Seventh studio.
To his supporters, he pays for his freedom of creation and its parts, sometimes daring, mixing politics, sex and religion, in a country where the authorities are pushing for a return to “traditional values” conservative.

Number of cultural figures and Russian and foreign have expressed their support, believing that his art is in contradiction with the conservatism of the Russian authorities was able to make him enemies on the origin of his setbacks.

During his residency, he completed the assembly of Leto, a movie on the life of rocker soviet Viktor Tsoï award-winning in 2018 at Cannes. It also has remote mounted an opera in Germany.

In September 2019, the justice of the Russian federation had awarded the artist-in-freedom, and returned the file to the public prosecutor, considering it as incomplete. But a new expert has concluded in early June that the director and his team had received an overpayment of approximately $ 129 million of rubles of state aid, taking the opposite of expertise previous.

“In this case, there is no evidence of unseemly behavior on my part,” said Kirill Serebrennikov Monday, accusing investigators of having “pressure” the main witness of the prosecution, the former accountant of the Seventh studio — a troupe that he founded.

To his supporters, he pays for his freedom of creation and its parts, sometimes daring, mixing politics, sex and religion, in a country where the authorities are pushing for a return in force of the “traditional values” conservative.

“The willingness of the State to the charge (…) seems to be a way to thinly veiled retaliation against the critical policies of Serebrennikov and to send a chilling message to artists who do not have other choice than give up the critical policies for the benefit of public funds”, have denounced several international organisations, including Human Rights Watch, in a press release.

The stagings presented in the Center of Gogol, as it has transformed into a must-see place in the current theatre scene in Moscow, have sometimes been criticized by activists of the orthodox church.

The authorities deny this interpretation of the facts.

About 3000 personalities of culture have called a Monday in a petition to the ministry of Culture to drop charges, citing a “case that has been fabricated” by the investigators.

France was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters in 2018.

Le Soleil

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