Russian Court Postpones Serebrennikov Trial In Apparent Victory For Defense

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A Russian judge has ordered a new study of evidence in the case against theater director Kirill Serebrennikov and his co-defendants and postponed the next hearing in their trial for two months.

The announcement on April 15 appeared to be a victory for the defense, which had questioned financial information provided by prosecutors in the high-profile case.

Meshchansky district court judge Irina Akkuratova ordered a “comprehensive” evaluation of financial, artistic, and other information relating to the case and set a June 17 date for the next hearing.

Serebrennikov’s August 2017 arrest drew international attention and prompted accusations that Russian authorities were targeting cultural figures who are at odds with President Vladimir Putin’s government.

The 49-year-old director and three co-defendants are accused of embezzling up to 133 million rubles ($ 2 million) in state funds granted from 2011 to 2014 to Seventh Studio, a nonprofit organization that Serebrennikov established.

On April 8, the court ordered the release of Serebrennikov and two other defendants from house arrest.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Russian Service, Interfax, Meduza, and TASS

News – Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

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