The court case surrounding a Bolshoi ballet dancer who allegedly planned an acid attack at the theatre director began yesterday, with Pavel Dmitrichenko – who’d previously acknowledged that he’d organised the attack – saying that he was not the one who ordered the acid.

As The Guardian had previously reported, Dmitrichenko had told Russian television "Yes, I organised this attack, but not to the extent that it occurred.” The attack was aimed at director Sergei Filin, with sulphuric acid leaving him with serious burns to his face and leaving him struggling to keep his eyesight. Another statement was made by Andrei Lipatov, the supposed getaway driver, who commented "Yes, I was there at the time [of the attack]. I drove someone. I didn't see how it happened. I just drove him, waited, and drove him away. I was asked to do it, without explanation."

According to the Washington Post, police claim that Dmitrichenko and paid 50,000 roubles ($1,600) to Yuri Zarutsky. However, according to the dancer he never intended it to be an acid attack. “I told Yuri Zarutsky about the policies of the Bolshoi Theater, about the bad things going on, the corruption” he said to the court. “When he said: ‘OK, let me beat him up, hit him upside the head,’ I agreed, but that is all that I admit to doing.” Dmitrichenko is believed to be annoyed at how money has been shared among the dancers by Filin, and Filin has always suspected that the attack, which occurred in January, was by someone connected to his work.