Alexei Malabrodsky, the former head of Moscow’s Gogol Centre has been detained by police as part of an ongoing fraud investigation.
Malobrodsky, who led the Gogol Centre between February 2013 and March 2015 was originally summoned as a witness as part of a wider case, investigating the embezzlement of government art funding by the theatre company, which saw its current head Kirill Serebrennikov detained in May.
The detention of Serebrennikov, an outspoken critic of the Russian government and the influence of the Orthodox Church, raised fresh concern amongst supporters of the Gogol Centre, who believe the recent raids could be a response to “Serebrennikov’s uncompromising productions examining contemporary life in Russia”.
Officials have now ruled that that Malobrodsky, the former director, is also a suspect in the case, as part of a scheme to embezzle 200 million rubles ($3.4m) from Russian nonprofit organisation Seventh Studio.
The Russian Investigative Committee has said his possible pretrial arrest is to be decided shortly.