Bolshoi acid attack: Dancer Dmitrichenko denies role

Pavel Dmitrichenko is escorted into Tuesday's court hearing
Image caption Pavel Dmitrichenko, seen here being escorted into Tuesday's court hearing, denied involvement in the attack

A Bolshoi ballet dancer has pleaded not guilty to ordering an acid attack on the company's artistic director.

Sulphuric acid was thrown at Sergei Filin outside his Moscow flat in January, damaging his eyesight.

Pavel Dmitrichenko entered his plea at the start of a trial, in a case that has revealed infighting at the Bolshoi.

Another defendant, Yuri Zarutsky, accused of throwing the acid, told the court in Moscow that he had attacked Sergei Filin and had acted alone.

At the hearing, the dancer, Pavel Dmitrichenko, denied that he had colluded with Yuri Zarutsky and a third defendant, Andrei Lipatov, who is accused of driving the car used to transport the alleged attacker.

Pavel Dmitrichenko had told the court during earlier hearings that he had met Yuri Zarutsky at his country house, and had said he disapproved of Sergei Filin's management style.

Further treatment

But he denied organising the attack on the Bolshoi's artistic director.

"What happened to Filin is a result of Zarutsky's savage conduct, not a result of my activities," said Mr Dmitrichenko. "I had no hostile attitude towards Filin."

He said Yuri Zarutsky, acting on his own motives, "committed this dangerous act, which we never discussed since I had no intent, and could not have had one to commit such an act in any form".

Yuri Zarutsky - sitting at the opposite end of the defendants' caged section to Pavel Dmitrichenko - told the trial judge that he threw the acid.

"I admit being guilty of attacking Filin," he said, adding that Pavel Dmitrichenko and Andrei Lipatov were not involved.

In his testimony, Andrei Lipatov also denied any part in the attack.

Sergei Filin was not present in court during the hearing.

His lawyer said he was in Germany, receiving more treatment to save his sight and repair damage to his face.

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