A verdict has been reached in the month-long trial that has seen the darker side of the ballet world exposed to the world. Pavel Dmitrichenko and two others have been found guilty of orchestrating an acid attack on the Bolshoi creative director Sergei Filin that left their victim nearly blinded with third degree burns.
The Bolshoi Case Has Lifted The Lid On The Unslightly Underbelly Of Ballet.
It is nearly a year since the January 17th battery acid attack on Filin, who has spent most of that time in hospital undergoing treatment to save his sight. The attack is said to have been motivated by rivalry within the ballet company, particularly over the casting of Swan Lake when Dmitrichenko's girlfriend Anzhelina Vorontsova did not get the part she wanted.
Dmitrichenko then arranged for an ex-convict, Yury Zarutsky, to carry out an attack on Filin with Andrei Lipatov as driver. Though Dmitrichenko has admitted arranging the attack, he has maintained that he did not instruct Zarutsky to use the car battery acid and rather indicated that he should "beat up" Filin, according to The Guardian.
In his own testimony, Mr. Zarutsky, said that he had chosen to use acid on his own initiative. Zarutsky has admitted guilt and has said that throwing acid in Filin's face was his own idea and he had not told Dmitrichenko what he intended to do. Lipatov, was accused of assisting by driving Zarutsky to and from the scene of the crime
The Russian judge has said today that Dmitrichenko and the two co-defendants had intentionally caused grievous bodily harm to Sergei Filin. All three are expected to be sentenced later in the day, reports The Guardian.
Though the trial has heard many testimonies from Bolshoi dancers who have revealed the unsavoury nature of ballet rivalry, many of Dmitrichenko's fellow dancers have signed a letter asking the judge for leniency for Dmitrichenko.
Prosecutors have demanded that Dmitrichenko should receive nine years of imprisonment in a labor camp for his alleged role in the attack and have also requested a 10-year sentence for Zarutsky and six years for Lipatov, according to the AP.