Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko did not intend for acid to be used in attack

Thursday 07 March 2013 14.46
Pavel Dmitrichenko said he did not order anyone to throw acid on the artistic director's face
Pavel Dmitrichenko said he did not order anyone to throw acid on the artistic director's face

Russian authorities have formally charged Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two suspected accomplices in an acid attack on the Russian ballet's artistic director.

Mr Dmitrichenko and the other two men, who were ordered held in custody at a court hearing earlier, have been charged with a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of 12 years.

Mr Dmitrichenko told a Moscow court that he had complained about ballet chief Sergei Filin to an acquaintance, who offered to "beat him up".

"It's not true that I ordered him to throw acid at Filin," Mr Dmitrichenko told the court.

Mr Filin's face and eyes suffered severe burns in the 17 January attack, which exposed a culture of deep intrigue and infighting at the famed theatre.

Mr Dmitrichenko, 29, said he did not intend for the attack to cause such bodily harm.

Moscow police said Mr Dmitrichenko had paid 50,000 rubles (about €1,250) to Yuri Zarutsky, who is accused of throwing the jar of acid in the ballet chief's face as he returned home late at night.

The third defendant drove the getaway car, but said in video provided by police that he did not know the purpose of his mission.

Mr Dmitrichenko said he was angered by Mr Filin's decisions on how money was allocated to dancers at the theatre.

He told the court: "I told Yuri Zarutsky about the policies of the Bolshoi Theatre, about the bad things going on, the corruption. When he said: 'OK, let me beat him up, hit him upside the head,' I agreed, but that is all that I admit to doing."

Police said they had determined that Mr Zarutsky had purchased acid at a car shop and believe he then heated it to make it more concentrated.

Keywords: bolshoi, moscow