Former Bolshoi dancer denies role in acid attack on Sergei Filin
Pavel Dmitrichenko claims ‘there is no proof of my guilt’
Pavel Dmitrichenko being escorted to a court room earlier this month. The former principal dancer at the Bolshoi theatre has pleaded not guilty to organising an acid attack on Sergei Filin. Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
Pavel Dmitrichenko, a former principal dancer at the Bolshoi theatre, pleaded not guilty to organising an acid attack on the theatre’s artistic director as his trial began in Moscow yesterday.
“I gave a confession, but the investigators have twisted it,” said Mr Dmitrichenko in court. “There is no proof of my guilt, and I have not been questioned since the charges were presented.”
He stands accused of organising the attack on Sergei Filin, who was splashed in the face with sulphuric acid outside his Moscow apartment in January. Mr Filin has not fully regained his sight. He returned to Moscow last month.
Police arrested Mr Dmitrichenko and suggested that the attack was motivated by irritation that Mr Filin did not give enough parts to Mr Dmitrichenko’s partner, Anzhelina Vorontsova.
Mr Dmitrichenko had previously said that he did want Mr Filin roughed up but had not asked for an acid attack. Yesterday, speaking from inside a metal cage in the central Moscow courtroom, he denied having a dislike of Mr Filin and said he is “not fully guilty of the charges”.
Yuri Zarutsky, standing trial with Mr Dmitrichenko, is believed to have prepared and thrown the acid. He pleaded guilty but said Mr Dmitrichenko was not involved. Also on trial is Andrei Lipatov, the alleged getaway driver.
More than 300 dancers and other Bolshoi employees signed a letter saying they did not believe that Mr Dmitrichenko was guilty of organising the attack and only confessed under police pressure.
The court will hear written evidence tomorrow.
– (Guardian service)