News / Europe

    Bolshoi Ballet Dancer Denies Guilt at Acid Attack Trial

    Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko looks out from the defendant's holding cell during a hearing in Moscow on October 22, 2013. Dmitrichenko, who made his name on stage at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, went on trial on Tuesday for an acid attack that nearly blinded the ballet's artistic director.
    Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko looks out from the defendant's holding cell during a hearing in Moscow on October 22, 2013. Dmitrichenko, who made his name on stage at Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre, went on trial on Tuesday for an acid attack that nearly blinded the ballet's artistic director.
    Reuters
    Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko denied any guilt as he went on trial on Tuesday over an acid attack that nearly blinded the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet.
           
    Dmitrichenko, 29, was led into a Moscow courtroom in handcuffs to face trial for the assault last winter that exposed bitter rivalries behind the scenes at one of Russia's great cultural institutions.

    He and two alleged accomplices face up to 12 years in prison if they are convicted of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm in the attack on Sergei Filin on Jan. 17.

    "I do not admit that I am guilty,'' Dmitrichenko, who had dark rings under his eyes, told journalists after officers led him and two co-defendants into a courtroom cage. He looked at his parents and gave them a brief smile. Dmitrichenko, who wore a sweater, shook his head at other questions from reporters and said he would have his say in court.

    Sergei Filin attends a meeting with dancers at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Sept. 17, 2013.Sergei Filin attends a meeting with dancers at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Sept. 17, 2013.
    x
    Sergei Filin attends a meeting with dancers at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Sergei Filin attends a meeting with dancers at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Filin, whose position gives him power to make or break careers, was returning home when a masked assailant called his name and threw acid in his face from a jar, leaving him writhing in the snow and calling for help.

    At a hearing in March, Dmitrichenko said he had wanted Filin to be roughed up but had been shocked to learn that acid was used.

    "Just verdict"

    "I hope the court will be able to distance itself from the public resonance of this case and deliver a well-grounded and just verdict,'' Dmitrichenko's lawyer, Sergei Kadyrov, said on Monday.
           
    Dmitrichenko, who has been in custody since March, is standing trial with Yuri Zarutsky, the alleged attacker, and Andrei Lipatov, who is accused of driving the assailant to and from the scene.

    Born into a family of dancers, Dmitrichenko played roles including a murderous Russian monarch in Ivan the Terrible and a villain in Swan Lake. On the Bolshoi Theatre's website, his picture remains alongside other leading soloists in the renowned ballet troupe.

    "A crime was committed. It must be solved. If Pavel's guilt is proven, he should be punished,'' Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova said on Monday. "In any case, for us this situation is tragic - it involves our friends and colleagues.''

    In court Dmitrichenko said he had told Zarutsky about alleged corruption at the Bolshoi and accused Filin of playing favourites in the distribution of financial grants.

    The scandal over the attack has damaged the theatre's reputation and that of its management and stars.

    The Russian government dismissed the Bolshoi's longtime head Anatoly Iksanov in July, and earlier this year the theatre declined to renew the contract of Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a top dancer who feuded with Filin and Iksanov.

    After months of treatment in Germany, Filin, 42, was back at the Bolshoi last month at the ceremonial opening of its 238th season, with dark glasses shielding his damaged eyes.

    But with more operations expected on top of the more than 20 he has already undergone, Novikova has said it is unclear to what extent Filin will be able to resume his duties.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.