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Russian director put under house arrest

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(23 Aug 2017) RUSSIAN DIRECTOR PUT UNDER HOUSE ARRESTA Moscow court put a revered theatre director under house arrest Wednesday (23 AUGUST 2017) on charges of embezzling 1.1 million US dollars, the latest step in a case widely seen as part of a crackdown on freedom of expression in Russia.Kirill Serebrennikov, whose productions ranged from drama and opera to movies, has won broad acclaim for satires mocking official lies, corruption and a growing hard-line streak in Russian society.Moscow's Basmanny Court heeded the investigators' request to put Serebrennikov under house arrest for almost two months.The 47-year-old director was detained Tuesday in St. Petersburg, where he was shooting a movie. He was driven to Moscow and put in jail later in the day.His detention has shaken the Russian arts scene and outraged the country's liberal circles.The Investigative Committee, Russia's top investigative agency, accused Serebrennikov of scheming to embezzle 68 million rubles (about 1.1 million US dollars) in government funds allocated for his productions during 2011-2014.Serebrennikov rejected the charges in court Wednesday, saying the state funds were used to finance "big and bright" shows that spawned young talents.The judge rejected Serebrennikov's plea to go free and his lawyer's offer to provide bail equalling the sum he was accused of embezzling.Some of Russia's leading cultural figures have backed Serebrennikov.In a speech to the court, Irina Prokhorova, a sister of Mikhail Prokhorov, a billionaire Russian tycoon who owns the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, hailed Serebrennikov as "the pride of Russia." She pledged to provide any bail the court ordered.Several hundred of his supporters rallied outside, shouting Serebrennikov's name and chanting "Freedom!"You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you... Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork

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AP Archive 4112296 2c5aacca304e794231df76c19d2fbc97 Russia Theatre Director Mikhail Prokhorov Patriarch Kirill Russia Eastern Europe Moscow General news
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