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Russian Director Serebrennikov’s House Arrest Extended Until August

Anton Novoderzhkin / TASS

A Moscow court extended the house arrest of theater director Kirill Serebrennikov for another two months while he awaits trial on fraud charges that supporters in the arts community argue are politically motivated.

Serebrennikov was charged last year with embezzling 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) of state funds designated for an art project linked to Moscow’s Gogol Center theater. He faces up to 10 years behind bars.

The Basmanny Court extended Serebrennikov’s house arrest until Aug. 22, exactly a year into the director's arrest, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The ruling is the fourth consecutive extension of Serebrennikov’s pre-trial detention.

The judge in charge of the case sided with prosecutor’s concerns that if released the director posed a flight risk and could destroy evidence or intimidate witnesses.

Speaking before the court ruling, Serebrennikov labeled the criminal fraud case against him a “farce, absurdity and lawlessness.”

“We’re finishing reviewing the case file and it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that there’s no evidence against us,” he was quoted as saying on the Gogol Center’s Facebook page.

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