A Bolshoi dancer and two other men were convicted by a Moscow court on Tuesday. The men carried out an acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet’s director, Sergei Filin. The attack nearly blinded Filin.
The former Bolshoi Ballet Theater soloist, Pavel Dmitrichenko was handed six years while his accomplice, Yuri Zarutsky, will serve a decade in prison and Andrei Lipatov, a driver, got four years according to official Russian Legal Information Agency report.
Although prosecutors had asked for a longer term of 9 years, Vitaly Dmitrichenko, Pavel’s father thought that the term was longer than what they had expected. “We had hoped it would be less,” he said.
Filin had been attacked by a masked aggressor who tossed sulfuric acid into his face in January 2013 when he was walking to his Moscow apartment. The acid left him almost blinded and severely burned his face. This case has attracted considerable attention in Russia and is certainly one of the worst scandals in Bolshoi’s history.
Filin has spent a considerable amount of time with doctors who have been working to save the Russian ballet director’s sight.
Dmitrichenko said during his defense that he wanted to punish Filin because he had failed to give him the roles he wanted. However, Dmitrichenko said he didn’t expect that his former director would be subjected to an acid attack. This was confirmed by Zarutsky who confessed to the court that Dmitrichenko was not aware of the acid attack. He said it was his own idea.
This case which has been watched closely worldwide threatens to expose the tensions building at the renowned ballet company. Witnesses from both Filin and Dmitrichenko’s camps have squared off publicly thus undermining Filin’s leadership.
(main image via YouTube)