MOSCOW – A Russian theater and movie director who was facing an embezzlement charge and had been under house arrest for over a year told a court in Moscow on Wednesday he was innocent.
Kirill Serebrennikov said at the start of his trial at the Meshchansky District Court he was not guilty and he had never stolen anything from anyone.
Besides Serebrennikov, another four people linked to Seventh Studio, an organization set up by the director, stood accused of embezzling 133 million rubles (over $2 million) in funds granted to an arts project between 2011-14.
Serebrennikov’s house arrest prevented the director from attending this year’s edition of the Cannes Film Festival, where his movie “Leto” (Summer) was competing for the coveted Palme d’Or.
The director has received support from several personalities in the world of culture in Russia and beyond and dismissed the charges as “nonsense.”