Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko denies organising acid attack on ballet director

Dmitrichenko tells journalists: "I do not admit that I am guilty" as court delays trial over lawyer's absence

Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko has denied any guilt in relation to an acid attack that nearly blinded the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet.

His trial was due to start today, but the court adjourned for a week as a result of the absence of one of the lawyers, according to AP.

Dmitrichenko, 29, was led into a Moscow courtroom in handcuffs to face trial for the assault last winter that exposed bitter rivalries behind the scenes at one of Russia's great cultural institutions.

He and two alleged accomplices face up to 12 years in prison if they are convicted of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm in the attack on Sergei Filin on 17 January.

"I do not admit that I am guilty," Dmitrichenko, who had dark rings under his eyes, told journalists after officers led him and two co-defendants into a courtroom cage. He looked at his parents and gave them a brief smile.

Dmitrichenko, who wore a sweater, shook his head at other questions from reporters and said he would have his say in court.

Filin, whose position gives him power to make or break careers, was returning home when a masked assailant called his name and threw acid in his face from a jar, leaving him writhing in the snow and calling for help.

At a hearing in March, Dmitrichenko said he had wanted Filin to be roughed up but had been shocked to learn that acid was used.

"Pasha is our third child. Our beloved son. The youngest and the most talented one. I think my son is not guilty," Dmitrichenko's mother Nadezhda said in the courtroom, referring to her son by the diminutive form.

Dmitrichenko, who has been in custody since March, is standing trial with Yuri Zarutsky, the alleged attacker, and Andrei Lipatov, who is accused of driving the assailant to and from the scene.

Born into a family of dancers, Dmitrichenko played roles including a murderous Russian monarch in Ivan the Terrible and a villain in Swan Lake. On the Bolshoi Theatre's website, his picture remains alongside other leading soloists in the renowned ballet troupe.

"A crime was committed. It must be solved. If Pavel's guilt is proven, he should be punished," Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova said on Monday. "In any case, for us this situation is tragic - it involves our friends and colleagues."

In court Dmitrichenko said he had told Zarutsky about alleged corruption at the Bolshoi and accused Filin of playing favourites in the distribution of financial grants.

The scandal over the attack has damaged the theatre's reputation and that of its management and stars.

The Russian government dismissed the Bolshoi's longtime head Anatoly Iksanov in July, and earlier this year the theatre declined to renew the contract of Nikolai Tsiskaridze, a top dancer who feuded with Filin and Iksanov.

After months of treatment in Germany, Filin, 42, was back at the Bolshoi last month at the ceremonial opening of its 238th season, with dark glasses shielding his damaged eyes.

But with more operations expected on top of the more than 20 he has already undergone, Novikova has said it is unclear to what extent Filin will be able to resume his duties.

Reuters

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Mathison returns to the field in the fourth season of Showtime's Homeland

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Crowds soak up the atmosphere at Latitude Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Meyne Wyatt and Caren Pistorus arrive for the AACTA Aawrds in Sydney, Australia

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rick Astley's original music video for 'Never Gonna Give You Up' has been removed from YouTube

music
Arts and Entertainment
Quentin Blake's 'Artists on the beach'

Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beach

art
Arts and Entertainment
MusicFans were left disappointed after technical issues
Arts and Entertainment
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer, c. 1665
artWhat is it about the period that so enthrals novelists?
Arts and Entertainment
Into the woods: The Merry Wives of Windsor at Petersfield
theatreOpen-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Arts and Entertainment
James singer Tim Booth
latitude 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Lee says: 'I never, ever set out to offend, but it can be an accidental by-product'
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe judges were wowed by the actress' individual cooking style
Arts and Entertainment
Nicholas says that he still feels lucky to be able to do what he loves, but that there is much about being in a band he hates
musicThere is much about being in a band that he hates, but his debut album is suffused with regret
Arts and Entertainment
The singer, who herself is openly bisexual, praised the 19-year-old sportsman before launching into a tirade about the upcoming Winter Olympics

books
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in the eleventh season of Two and a Half Men

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

film
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman as Doctor Who and Clara behind the scenes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cheery but half-baked canine caper: 'Pudsey the dog: The movie'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce leads the MTV VMA Awards 2014 nominations with eight

music
Arts and Entertainment
Live from your living room: Go People perform at a private home in Covent Garden

theatre
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor