A Russian court has formally charged a dancer for the Bolshoi Theater with causing grievous body harm and ordered him remanded into custody for his alleged role in an attack on the theater’s artistic director.
Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko admitted to Moscow’s Tagansky Court on March 7 that he wanted the attack against director Sergei Filin, but said he did not want acid thrown in Filin’s face.
"In regards to [accusations] that I ordered him to splash Sergei Filin with acid, this is a total lie. I did not do that, absolutely no," Dmitrichenko said.
Sergei Filin speaks to journalists as he leaves a Moscow hospital on February 4.
Dmitrichenko stands accused of the January attack along with suspected assailant Yury Zarutsky and the man accused of driving a getaway vehicle, Andrei Lipatov.
The court also charged Zarutsky and Lipatov with causing grievous bodily injury and ordered them to be held in pretrial detention.
Dmitrichenko admitted he worked with Zarutsky to plan the attack, insisting that he never intended for Filin to be physically harmed.
"[Yuri] Zarutsky's name has been mentioned here. It was only during the investigation that I first heard his name. I was in touch with him. He used to borrow money from me on a regular basis," Dmitrichenko said.
"I was completely shocked after I heard what had happened to Sergei [Filin]. I could not believe that this man [Zarutsky] who offered to beat [Sergei Filin] up all of a sudden went for an acid attack. I thought I'd go crazy after it, I was truly shocked."
Police say Dmitrichenko was upset that Filin would not give Dmitrichenko’s girlfriend any leading roles in theater performances and that was the motive for the attack.
Dmitrichenko said he would not appeal the decision to keep him in detention.
Forty-two-year-old Filin underwent new eye surgery in Germany on March 7. German doctors described the more than three-hour operation as difficult but successful.
With reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax