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

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

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.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More