Employees of ANO "The Seventh Studio" directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, who imposes fraud with budget funds in a large amount, really cashed them, but spent them strictly on projects. With such a statement, Serebrennikov, accused, like the others, under Part 4 of Art. 159 of the Criminal Code (maximum penalty - up to ten years imprisonment), spoke on Wednesday, July 18, in the Basmanny Court of Moscow, which considered the extension of the director of house arrest.
"I do not want to convince anyone that cashing cash is good. But for me there is no doubt that all cashed money was strictly taken into account at the ticket office of the "Seventh Studio" and was issued strictly for projects, "Serebrennikov said.
The trial in the case of the "Seventh Studio" can begin in the fall. Investigative actions were completed at the beginning of the year, now the accused continue to familiarize themselves with the 258 volumes of the case. Serebrennikov, who was extended to house arrest at a meeting today before August 22, by decision of the Basmanny Court must complete the review before September 1.
The five defendants are accused of fraud with subsidies from the Ministry of Culture worth 133 million rubles. The money was allocated for the project to promote contemporary art "Platforma" in 2011-2014. According to the investigation, the management of the "Seventh Studio" plundered them.
"Seventeen studios consistently employed 40 to 60 people. And these people, as well as me, were paid wages. We received it in cash at the checkout and signed for this money, "Serebrennikov said.
The director also read in the court a fragment of the protocol of interrogation of the former accountant of the "Seventh Studio" Nina Maslyaeva, whose case was allocated in a separate proceeding and which the only one of the defendants gave confessions: "Before the opening of the project" Platform "I was approached [Director of the" Seventh Studio "Yuri ] Itin and [the seventh producer of the "Seventh Studio" Aleksey] Malobrodsky asked me if I have a familiar legal entity or an individual entrepreneur who could provide so-called cash assistance To my question, why they need it, they said that the federal budget could not be enough to implement all the planned projects and that if all payment transactions are carried out through a cashless payment, officially, too many taxes will have to be paid. "
"Maslyaeva does not say that the money should have been stolen. She says that it was necessary to somehow minimize taxes, that they need to be paid less and that's why you need to cash out the funds, "commented Serebrennikov.
"Universal disaster in our country"
Figures of the case "Seventh studio" and earlier recognized that they used cash for payments with artists and suppliers. In January Serebrennikov claimed in court: "The investigation did not understand and did not try to understand, and therefore is clearly mistaken when it says that the cash funds that were in the box office of the" Seventh Studio "were addressed by me and other persons to their personal advantage and were used at personal discretion. "
The defendants "recognize the cashing of some money, tax evasion, but this money was used to organize the plays," argued Irina Adviser Irina Poverinova, who defends Sofia Apfelbaum, who previously headed the Department of State Support for Arts in the Ministry of Culture and in this capacity , according to the TFR, helped the "Seventh studio" with the withdrawal of the subsidy. The actions of the employees of the "Seventh Studio" lawyer called a violation of financial discipline, but not a crime.
"Cashing is a universal calamity in our country, it has to be fought with for a long time, but it's not tragic and not criminal," Rovik Poverinova said. In her opinion, qualify such actions under art. 199 of the Criminal Code (tax evasion), the investigation may be unprofitable. "They [the accused] can count the tax debt, and they will pay it off once and for all. And if taxes are paid voluntarily, people are released from criminal liability, even when the case is already in court, "explained the lawyer. - Why involve in the article, according to which a small sanction and in general the case can be terminated? "
"The defense of the defendants of the case of the" Seventh Studio "will only arrange for the termination of the case on charges of embezzlement," Dmitry Kharitonov, Serebrennikov's lawyer, told RBC, answering the question about the possibility of the director's confession if the charge is retrained for a softer economic composition. "Perhaps the ANO" The Seventh Studio "has tax violations, but this is a completely different story and responsibility," the defender explained his point of view.
"Fraud is a method of embezzlement. When tax evasion is fraudulent, it is possible only when taxes have already been paid, and then for some fictitious documents they are returned from the budget to the taxpayer. That is, he steals from the state funds, which are already part of the treasury. It does not have anything to do with cashing out, "RBC explained Vadim Klyuvgant, vice president of the Moscow Chamber of Advocates.
In themselves, the actions "to convert non-cash funds into cash" are not punishable in criminal procedure, the lawyer states: "These actions can only be a way of committing some other crime, and the fact of its commission must be proved. Just to state that cash is abducted is a legal error. But, nevertheless, in our practice such cases are not uncommon. "
"Special kind of activity"
"Since I am engaged in this business for the second year and studied theatrical cuisine a little, I can say that cash has been taken there to provide work," said Yuri Lysenko, defense lawyer for the former director of the Seventh Studio, Yuri Itin. "This is a special kind of activity: you need cash to buy props on a flea market."
Asked about the possibility of confessing Ichin's guilt in the event of the requalification of the charge, he said: "It is necessary to admit guilt when a person feels that he has committed a crime. And to admit that which you did not do to ease your own destiny - this is mean. Yuri Konstantinovich is not that kind of person. "
Last November, the Union of Theater Workers of Russia stated that the current system of state financing of theater projects does not take into account the peculiarities of creative activity and creates "insurmountable obstacles" for it. Theaters are forced to draw up schedules for years ahead and hold contests for the provision of services even when this is contrary to common sense.
Many projects in the field of culture, and in particular the "Platform" of the "Seventh Studio", are funded after the fact, in compensation for the work already done, followed from the documentation. which he studied RBC. It actually pushes managers to violations, cultural figures told, for example, to fictitious reports about work that has not been done yet, in order to get money for solving real problems.
"The Minister considered that everything was bad"
The investigation refused to count the expenses of the "Seventh Studio" for salaries and fees to invited specialists, Serebrennikov said today at the Basmanny Court. According to him, during the months of the investigation, the defense announced more than 30 applications for various examinations and interrogations that could determine how the cashed subsidy was spent. "But the investigation was simply not interested," Serebrennikov stated.
"We get acquainted with the materials of the case and, to our satisfaction, we find a lot of documents proving the innocence of our clients," said Irina Poverinova, attorney of Apfelbaum. "But for some reason the Minister of Culture considered at some stage that everything is bad, that one should turn to some competent authorities to show off with Serebrennikov. And began some com-absurd accusations, "- said Poverinov. Specific information about the fact that the case of the "Seventh Studio" was initiated by Vladimir Medinsky, the defense does not, the lawyer specified, answering the relevant question of RBC after the trial, during which the home arrest of Apfelbaum was extended until September 19.