6 Aug 2018 14:43

Serebrennikov rejects investigation's theory of his involvement in Platforma project financial management

MOSCOW. Aug 6 (Interfax) - Gogol Center Artistic Director and film director Kirill Serebrennikov, who has been charged with stealing state funds, says that despite the investigators' claims he has never been engaged in the financial management of the Platforma project.

"This is absolutely wrong. I have never been involved in the Platforma financial management. At the Culture Ministry's request I have signed three agreements on subsidies, which are documents, under which money was allocated, but not spent. Investigators have not a single document I signed in accordance with which monetary funds have been spent," the film director said in the Moscow City Court on Monday.

Serebrennikov possessed a power of attorney to manage the finances of the Platforma project and the state funds allotted to Studio Seven were used not for performances after cashing, but "for absolutely other purposes," specifically it was returned to the organization's top management, the acting deputy head of the Russian Investigative Committee's investigative department dealing with particular serious cases, Sergei Golkin, said in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant.

The defense team discovered in the case files not a single signature "under financial regulatory documents," the film director said. "There cannot be such documents. I have never been engaged in the management of monetary funds and have never held an administrative position," he said.

Furthermore, the film director said that "other purposes," which Golkin mentioned in the interview with Kommersant "are the creation of the Platforma project." "No other purposes, except for these ones, neither me, nor us had," Serebrennikov said.

On Monday, the Moscow City Court upheld the extension of house arrest to the film director until August 22 and to the former head of the Russian Culture Ministry's department for state support to the arts and people's creative activity and the director of the Russian Academic Youth Theater, Sofia Apfelbaum, until September 19.

The defendants of the so-called Studio Seven case, including Serebrennikov and Aplfelbaum, are charged with stealing 133 million of state funds, allocated to the independent NGO founded by the film director to implement the Platforma project in 2011-2014.