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Bookkeeper Who Testified Against Serebrennikov Transferred To House Arrest

Nina Maslyayeva, former chief accountant of the of Seventh studio theater group in court earlier this year.

Nina Maslyayeva, the bookkeeper of the drama collective Seventh Studio at the Moscow-based Gogol Center who has been in custody in connection with a high-profile embezzlement case, has been transferred to house arrest.

Maslyayeva has testified against Kirill Serebrennikov, a prominent Moscow theater figure who has protested against the government and been indicted on embezzlement charges.

A court in Moscow approved on October 6 a request by investigators to release Maslyayeva from detention and transfer her to house arrest after she gave statements "exposing other indicted persons."

Maslyayeva was arrested in May after investigators searched the Gogol Center theater and Serebrennikov's apartment. Former Seventh Studio director, Yury Itin, was also detained in May and later transferred to house arrest.

Serebrennikov, initially a witness in the case, was charged in August with organizing the embezzlement of 68 million rubles ($1.1 million) allocated during 2011-2014 for a project. He has since been under house arrest.

Former Gogol Center director Aleksei Malobrodsky was arrested in June and placed in pretrial detention.

Maslyayeva is the only indicted person in the case who pleaded guilty and made a deal with investigators.

Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov
Russian theater director Kirill Serebrennikov

Serebrennikov, a noted theater director in Moscow, has been known for taking part in antigovernment protests and voicing concern about the increasing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church in the country.

Prominent artists in Russia and elsewhere have expressed concern over the probe and have called for a transparent investigation.

Ballet great Mikhail Baryshnikov suggested in May that political motives were behind what he called the "repression" of an outspoken advocate of freedom.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax