Bolshoi Star Sentenced to 6 Years in Jail for Acid Attack

MOSCOW, December 3 (RIA Novosti) – A Moscow court on Tuesday sentenced a star ballet dancer at the Bolshoi Theater to six years in jail for organizing an acid attack on his troupe’s artistic director, bringing a highly charged trial to a close.

The judge at Meshchansky Court ruled that Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko and two co-defendants were guilty of causing grievous bodily harm, RIA Novosti’s RAPSI legal news service reported.

Sergei Filin sustained third-degree burns to his face and eyes in the attack in January.

The judge said in her verdict that Dmitrichenko had organized the attack because he was disgruntled at the way Filin was acquitting his duties.

Dmitrichenko has claimed he only wanted to have Filin beaten up, but the judge dismissed the testimony as an attempt to avoid criminal responsibility.

During the trial, Filin suggested the aim of the attack was to remove him from his position as artistic director and to destroy the prestigious Moscow ballet company’s reputation.

The court ruled that other defendants in the trial – former convict Yuri Zarutsky, who carried out the attack, and driver Andrei Lipatov – only did the jobs that had been assigned to them by Dmitrichenko.

Zarutsky received a 10 year sentence, while Lipatov was sentenced to four years in jail.

Dmitrichenko and Lipatov had pleaded not guilty, while Zarutsky claimed he planned and carried out the attack on his own.

The court also ordered the defendants to pay Filin 3.5 million rubles ($105,000) in compensation for medical costs and moral damage.

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 his eyesight had improved significantly.

Updates with sentence, compensation awarded to Filin.

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