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Bolshoi accused faces up to 12 years in prison for acid attack

Pavel Dmitrichenko charged alongside two men with acting as a group to commit grievous bodily harm to director Sergei Filin

The Bolshoi ballet dancer who confessed to organising an attack on his troupe’s director has argued in court that he never intended for Sergei Filin to be splashed with acid.

Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko was charged on Thursday, along with two accomplices, of acting as a group to commit grievous bodily harm. Filin was left with third-degree burns to his face and neck and in danger of losing his eyesight after a masked attacker threw acid at his face in the January attack. The three men face between five and 12 years in prison if found guilty.

During a bail hearing at a Moscow court on Thursday, Dmitrichenko said that while he knew Yury Zarutsky, who has confessed to throwing the acid, “I never wanted to bring harm to a person.”

“It’s not true that I ordered him to throw acid at Filin,” he said. Police said on Thursday that Dmitrichenko paid Zarutsky 50,000 roubles ( 1,085) to carry out the attack.

Dmitrichenko, speaking from a cage in the courtroom, was defiant. When the judge asked him if he wanted to apologise to Filin, Dmitrichenko replied: “For what?”

Police say Dmitrichenko was motivated to organise an attack on Filin because of “personal hostile relations linked to their professional activities”.

He engaged Zarutsky to carry out the attack. He in turn called on Andrei Lipatov to act as a getaway driver, police say. All three men have confessed to taking part in the attack.

Russia’s state-run television and tabloid press have focused on the men’s dispute over ballerina Angelina Vorontsova – Dmitrichenko’s girlfriend and Filin’s former student. Dmitrichenko was reportedly upset over Filin’s refusal to give her the lead role in Swan Lake in December, prompting comparisons to Hollywood blockbuster Black Swan.

In court, Dmitrichenko said he was upset over Filin’s allegedly unjust means of allocating money to dancers at the theatre. He said he complained to Zarutsky, whom he had long known and who once presented himself as “a man who could solve anything”. When Zarutsky suggested beating up Filin, Dmitrichenko said he was shocked.

A judge denied Dmitrichenko’s request for bail and remanded him in custody for six weeks as the investigation into the attack continues.

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This entry was posted on June 25, 2013 by in guardian.co.uk and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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