Charges have finally been brought against Igor Zotov, the former head of Valery Gergiev’s White Nights Festival and private foundation, who has been held in jail for a year without trial.
The charge sheet, published today, says that Zotov conspired in 2009 with another Gergiev aide to milk the fund of 245 million rubles ($8m), with consequent damage to the fund of almost twice that amount. The two men are alleged to have invested the money in property, which they registered in their wives’ names.
Zotov denies all the charges, saying he returned to Russia voluntarily to face police questioning after the loss was discovered. His lawyers accuse Gergiev of using political clout to prolong his imprisonment.
No date has been set for the trial. In Putin’s Russia, fairness at law cannot be guaranteed.