Bolshoi soloist pleads not guilty to acid attack
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MOSCOW, October 29 (RAPSI) - Bolshoi Ballet leading soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko accused of masterminding an acid attack that left Bolshoi Artistic Director Sergei Filin with third degree burns to his face and eyes pleaded not guilty, RAPSI reports from the courtroom.
The hearing on the merits began in the Meshchansky District Court on Tuesday.
Filin suffered third-degree burns to his face and eyes on January 17 when unknown assailants attacked him with what is believed to have been concentrated acid. Shortly after the attack, a Bolshoi Theater spokesperson confirmed that Filin had received various threats.
Filin returned to Moscow last September after six months of treatment in a German hospital. He has undergone more than 20 eye surgeries, and German doctors said that Filins eyesight had improved significantly. After losing over 90 percent of his vision in his left eye and becoming totally blind in his right eye, Filin now has 80 percent of his left eye vision restored and can distinguish big objects with his right eye.
Filin suggested that the aim of the attack may have been to remove him from his position as artistic director and to destroy the prestigious Moscow ballet company's reputation.
Three men were arrested in March in connection with the attack, including Dmitrichenko, the alleged attacker Yury Zarutsky and driver Andrei Lipatov. All of them face 12 years in prison if convicted.