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Bolshoi trial: verdicts

Posted on December 3, 2013

bolshoi andrew-bayda-fotolia.comBolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two co-defendants have been found guilty of attacking Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet. In January, acid was thrown in Filin’s face, scarring and nearly blinding him. Dmitrichenko has received a six-year jail sentence.


The three defendants were charged with “malicious infliction of grave harm to health in collusion”. Dmitrichenko was accused of ordering the attack, which was carried out by Yuri Zarutsky, with Andrei Lipatov acting as driver. Dmitrichencko has said he thought Filin would be beaten up, rather than attacked with acid, but has said he feels moral responsibility for the incident.


Zarutsky, who has confessed to the crime, asked the court to remove the phrase “in collusion” from the charges, saying that he had used Dmitrichenko and Lipatov. Zarutsky has been sentenced to ten years, with a four-year sentence for Lipatov. Zarutsky will serve under “special regime”, while Dmitrichenko and Lipatov were given “severe regime”. They must pay Filin 508,000 roubles (£9,300) in material compensation and 3 million roubles (£55,000) in moral compensation.


 With thanks to Tony Devereux for translation and additional reporting.


Picture: The Bolshoi Theatre. Photograph: Andrew Bayda, Fotalia


Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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