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Moscow Court Extends Serebrennikov's House Arrest Over Embezzlement

Kirill Serebrennikov (Kardashov Anton / Moskva News Agency)

A Moscow city court has upheld the decision to extend prominent Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house arrest until Jan. 19 next year.

The theatre director was charged in August with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.2 million) in government funds as part of the “Platforma” project connected to Moscow’s Gogol Center, in a case seen as political in Russia's artistic community.

"The court’s decision is to be recognized as lawful," Judge Oleg Gaidar was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency on extending the director's house arrest.

The court also upheld its decision regarding two other defendants in the Gogol Center embezzlement case — former director Yuriy Itin will remain under house arrest and former managing director Alexei Malobrodsky will remain in a detention center until January.

Following the court’s decision, Serebrennikov pleaded his innocence.

“Nobody stole anything,” he said. “We spent our own money and took on loans to make sure the shows would continue.”

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