Bolshoi dancer behind acid attack freed

1st June 2016, Comments 0 comments

A Bolshoi ballet dancer who masterminded an acid attack on the troupe's artistic director has been released on parole after three years behind bars, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, who was sentenced to six years in prison in 2013 for orchestrating the attack on artistic director Sergei Filin, has been granted parole and is already "back at home in Moscow," his lawyer Sergei Kadyrov told TASS news agency.

Kadyrov did not specify when his client, who had been serving his sentence in a prison camp in the central Ryazan region, was released.

"Thank you to all those who supported me," Dmitrichenko wrote on his Facebook page. "The truth has prevailed over falsehood."

An unnamed source described as familiar with the case told TASS that Dmitrichenko was planning on resuming his dance career and could be returning to the Bolshoi.

The Bolshoi did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Dmitrichenko's release or on his reported plans.

A Ryazan court agreed to an early release for Dmitrichenko after he showed "exemplary behaviour" in prison and "fully compensated the victim for the damages incurred," the court said Wednesday.

The January 2013 attack that rocked the dance world left Filin scarred and partially blind, after he was doused with acid on Dmitrichenko's orders.

Filin told Russia's Ren-TV that he had not been informed of the soloist's release.

The trial of Filin's attackers uncovered jaw-dropping allegations that the artistic director handed out roles in exchange for money and sexual favours.

Dmitrichenko, known for giving life to dark characters like Ivan the Terrible, planned the attack because he was angry with Filin's management decisions, said the judge hearing his case in 2013.

The soloist, according to the court, was upset that his ex-girlfriend, up-and-coming soloist Anzhelina Vorontsova, had been passed over for top roles.

Filin resumed work at the theatre in late 2013 after undergoing multiple surgeries to repair the damage caused to his eyes and skin.

The Bolshoi Theatre announced last year that it was not renewing Filin's contract, replacing him in October with La Scala's Makhar Vaziev.

Filin has meanwhile continued to work with the company in a less senior role, last week presenting a series of performances conceived by young choreographers.

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© 2016 AFP

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