News / Europe

Bolshoi Dancer Admits Ordering Attack

Pavel Dmitrichenko, foreground, is escorted out of a courtroom in Moscow, March 7, 2013.
Pavel Dmitrichenko, foreground, is escorted out of a courtroom in Moscow, March 7, 2013.
VOA News
A dancer with Russia's famed Bolshoi ballet says he arranged for the January attack of the company's artistic director, but did not ask that his victim be splashed with acid.

Three suspects appeared in court Thursday - dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two accomplices - for a bail hearing. Dmitrichenko was ordered to remain in custody at least until April 18, as the investigation goes forward.

Police say Dmitrichenko paid his alleged accomplice about $1,600 to carry out the January 17 attack on ballet director Sergei Filin. Filin was left with severe burns to his face and eyes. Dmitrichenko said Thursday that he had expected Filin to be beaten up, but not so severely harmed.

The third suspect is accused of driving the attacker to and from the scene of the crime. He has told police he was unaware of the attack plot before it happened.

The ballet company has been troubled by infighting that has led to the departure of several artistic directors in the past few years. Russian media reports have suggested that Dmitrichenko ordered the attack because he was upset that his girlfriend, also a dancer with the company, was not getting starring roles.

Filin is being treated in Germany where surgeons are fighting to save his eyesight. Before leaving Moscow for Germany he told reporters that he knew who ordered the attack, but declined to give any names. His wife has since told Russian media that she believes more than three people were behind the attack.

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