Many believe he is innocent, but he stands trial nonetheless
Pavel Dmitrichenko, accused of throwing sulphuric acid over Bolshoi artistic director Sergei Filin, is currently on trial for his supposed crime. The case has grabbed Russian headlines, dominating the news over in Eastern Europe.
The Bolshoi Ballet acid attack trial is in motion
"I do not admit that I am guilty," Dmitrichenko told journalists before the trial began.
Dmitrichenko denies arranging the attack, which brought the infighting and competitive nature of the Bolshoi Company. The acid was thrown at Sergei Filin outside his Moscow flat in January, badly damaging his eyesight. He has had more than 20 operations to try to save his vision.
The day before the trial, lawyer Sergei Kadyrov said: "Dmitrichenko does not consider himself guilty of causing grave harm to Filin's health." I hope the court will be able to distance itself from the public resonance of this case and deliver a well-grounded and just verdict." (The BBC)
Steve Rosenberg, the BBC’s reporter at the scene, described just how chaotic proceedings were. “This was one of the most chaotic court hearings I have attended in Russia. The tiny courtroom was so full of cameras there was no room to bring in the defendants,” he explained.
“Eventually the room was cleared and the trial got under way. I was among a group of journalists allowed to sit in during proceedings. Ten minutes later, though, a court official ordered us out. A security guard tried to pull me towards the door.”
Three hundred members of the Bolshoi Ballet have written to President Vladimir Putin, saying that the idea that Mr Dmitrichenko was behind the crime was "absurd".
The beauty of ballet juxtaposed by the horrific attack