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Russian director Serebrennikov freed from house arrest

  • Published at 08:24 pm April 8th, 2019
Web_Kirill Serebrennikov-AFP
Russian film and theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov has been detained since August 2017 AFP

A Moscow city court judge overturned a decision by a lower tribunal last week to extend his arrest for three more months

A Russian court on Monday ordered the release from house arrest of renowned film and theatre director Kirill Serebrennikov who is on trial on embezzlement charges, local news agencies reported.

A Moscow city court judge overturned a decision by a lower tribunal last week to extend his arrest for three more months.

Serebrennikov, who supporters say is facing politically motivated charges, has been detained since August 2017.

Speaking to news agency Interfax, Serebrennikov said he plans to return to work at the Gogol Centre, the Moscow theatre he heads.

"I will celebrate now but will return (to work) very soon. It's not easy psychologically but there is so much to do, we have stagings and rehearsals," he said.

Under the conditions of his house arrest, Serebrennikov was able to spend limited time outside his apartment, for example when going to the gym, making work nearly impossible.

He was also barred from using the internet, so was only able to stage productions by recording instructions for actors on USB devices passed on by his lawyer.

Serebrennikov and three co-defendants are accused of embezzling more than $2 million of government money from a theatre project called Platforma.

Co-defendants Sofia Apfelbaum and Yury Itin were also freed from house arrest by the court decision Monday.