Bolshoi dancer 'did not intend acid attack'

  • A Bolshoi Ballet dancer accused over an attack on artistic director Sergei Filin told a Moscow court on Thursday he did not intend for acid to be thrown on his face.

    Pavel Dmitrichenko is accused of masterminding the attack.

    He appeared in court with Yuri Zarutsky, suspected of carrying out the attack, and Andrei Lipatov, accused of driving a getaway vehicle.

    According to police, the three men have confessed. They were denied bail at the hearing and later formally charged with grievous bodily harm.

    Dmitrichenko told the court he had discussed corrupt practices at the Bolshoi Ballet with Zarutsky.

    He added: "When he said: 'OK, let me beat him up, hit him over the head', I agreed. But that is all that I admit to doing. It's not true that I ordered him to throw acid at Filin."

    Police believe Dmitrichenko paid his alleged accomplices $1,600 for the attack.

    Filin's eyesight was badly damaged after a masked attacker threw sulphuric acid in his face in January in the Russian capital.

    The 42-year-old has since been moved to Germany, where doctors hope further treatment could restore his vision.

    Dmitrichenko has been with the Bolshoi Ballet since 2002. He is a leading soloist, one level below the star male dancers known as premiers.

    The attack has shed light on the intense rivalries within the Bolshoi theater.

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