Bolshoi’s Filin Says He Knew Attack Mastermind Before Arrest

MOSCOW, March 15 (RIA Novosti) – The Bolshoi Theater’s artistic director Sergei Filin said on Friday that he had suspected the guilt of the soloist who was arrested for allegedly planning the acid attack which almost blinded him.

A masked assailant threw concentrated acid into Filin’s face on January 17 in Moscow and fled the scene, leaving the artistic director with third-degree burns to his face and eyes.

Three men were arrested earlier this month in connection with the attack, including the theater’s solo dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who the police suspect of masterminding the attack.

“The person who is alleged to be the mastermind of the crime – yes, that person was in fact in the circle of my own suspects,” Filin said at a televised press conference in the German city of Aachen, where is being treated.

Dmitrichenko, 29, confessed to police he had organized the attack, but his lawyer later claimed he had not intended to cause severe injuries with the acid. The assault was reportedly motivated by Dmitrichenko’s desire to avenge his girlfriend, who had not been selected by Filin for important roles in the theater’s productions.

Over 300 cast and crew members of the Bolshoi Theater signed a letter this week to President Vladimir Putin in support of Dmitrichenko. The president has not yet publicly reacted to the letter.

Filin also said he is ready to resume his work at the Bolshoi Theater as soon as he gets better, which might take months.

“Acid burns to the eyes are a very serious injury. Most likely, we are not talking about weeks, but months. But it’s too early to speak about dates yet,” his doctor Martin Hermel said, in comments originally translated into Russian.

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