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Russian Theater Director Serebrennikov’s House Arrest Extended In Fraud Case

Kirill Serebrennikov (Anton Kardashov / Moskva News Agency)

A court has extended prominent Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov’s house arrest on fraud charges by three months, amid accusations that his studio's accountant lied to reduce her sentence. 

Serebrennikov was charged in August 2017 with embezzling state funds at Moscow’s famous Gogol Center theater, in a case seen in the Russian artistic community as politically charged. His house arrest was due to expire on Friday, Jan. 19.

A district court in Moscow ruled to keep Serebrennikov under house arrest until April 19, the independent Dozhd TV news channel reported Tuesday.

Investigators have reportedly wrapped up the case, doubling the damages against Serebrennikov's studio from 68 million rubles to 133 million rubles ($2.3 million), the Interfax news agency reported

Ahead of the court decision, Serebrennikov accused his studio’s former accountant of lying to receive a minimum sentence. 

The studio's accountant Nina Maslyayeva is the only suspect who has pled guilty and is reportedly cooperating with the authorities.   

“She admitted to me herself at a face-to-face meeting that she had stolen 5 million rubles,” he was cited as saying by the RBC business portal.  

"But they [the courts] believe her, while not believing those who were directly involved in the 'Platform' [studio]," he said.

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