Russian dancer guilty in acid attack

2013-12-03 14:40
Pavel Dmitrichenko is escorted into a court in Moscow. (Alexander Nemenov, AFP)

Pavel Dmitrichenko is escorted into a court in Moscow. (Alexander Nemenov, AFP)

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Moscow - A Bolshoi star dancer and two other men were convicted on Tuesday for their parts in an acid attack on the ballet's director which exposed vicious backstage bickering and intrigue at the renowned theatre.

Judge Yelena Maximova pronounced Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko guilty in the 17 January attack on Sergei Filin. She said that Dmitrichenko and two other men had made plans to hurt Filin a few months before the attack.

Prosecutors asked for a nine-year sentence for Dmitrichenko, 10 years for ex-convict Yuri Zarutsky, suspected of carrying out the attack, and six years for their driver, Andrei Lipatov.

Filin lost most of the sight in one eye and 20% in the other.

In his testimony, Filin called Dmitrichenko a volatile and threatening employee who was always stirring up trouble, but stopped short of accusing him of plotting the attack.

Moral responsibility

The dancer pleaded not guilty but has admitted "moral responsibility" because he spoke badly of Filin in front of Zarutsky. Dmitrichenko had claimed he was passed over for the best parts in the theatre.

The judge said that Dmitrichenko was unaware of the plan to use acid, which may set stage for a softer sentence. Zarutsky had testified that Dmitrichenko was unaware of the intention to use acid.

During the trial, Dmitrichenko said that Zarutsky had approached him with an offer to beat up Filin. The dancer said he was shocked when he heard about the acid attack in the news and told Zarutsky they should surrender to the police.

He testified that Zarutsky told him to keep silent and threatened to launch a similar attack on Dmitrichenko's ballerina girlfriend if he went to the police.

Read more on:    russia

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