14 Aug 2018 18:52

Courts orders all Studio Seven case defendants to finish reviewing case files by end of month

MOSCOW. Aug 14 (Interfax) - Moscow's Basmanny District Court on Tuesday has ordered former Gogol Center director Alexei Malobrodsky and his defense team to finish studying the case by the end of August, an Interfax correspondent reported from courtroom.

"The investigator's petition is granted. The time that Malobrodsky and his lawyers are allowed to review files in the case is limited to the time remaining before September 1," the court said in its ruling.

The court earlier limited the period during which defendants in the so-called Studio Seven case, namely, Gogol Center art director and stage director Kirill Serebrennikov, ex-Studio Seven Director Yury Itin, and former head of the culture ministry's department of state support for arts and crafts Sofia Apfelbaum, may study the case, setting a deadline of September 1.

In its ruling, the court agreed with the investigation's stance that Malobrodsky and his attorneys "abuse their powers in this regard, using inefficiently the time that they were given."

Malobrodsky and his defense counsel have yet to examine physical evidence and additional materials in the case, the investigator claimed in court.

A representative of the public prosecutor's office upheld the investigators' petition in part, requesting the court to set a deadline of September 19 for the defense to study the case completely.

Malobrodsky stated in court that he had studied all 258 volumes in the criminal case, noting, however, that there were some additional materials, the size of which is still unknown to him. "So I cannot figure out and name any precise amount of time that it will take me to acquaint myself with the additional materials. I can say that as soon as I have been given the materials, I am ready to review them within one month," Malobrodsky said.

Malobrodsky also claimed at the court hearing that an investigating officer had faked the minutes of interview of a witness in the case.

"Upon studying the case, I have found discrepancies in information contained in the minutes of interview of a witness in the case. We believe that the investigators rewrote the document after the fact, aiming to make a stronger case," he said.

Malobrodsky noted that he had reported that to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB). A copy of his report was submitted to the judge.

After that, the defense team submitted a challenge against an investigating officer to the court but the judge dismissed it.

Defendants in the Studio Seven case currently include four people: Serebrennikov, Itin, Apfelbaum and Malobrodsky.

Investigatory actions in the case finished in January 2018 but it was not before early March that defendants began reviewing 258 volumes of the case materials because before that, the injured party, Russia's Culture Ministry, had been studying the case