Bolshoi artistic director acid attack: organizer given 6 years
Moscow's Meshchansky Court has sentenced Bolshoi Theatre ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko to six years in prison for organizing an attack on Bolshoi choreographer, Sergei Filin.
Dmitrichenko will serve his term in a high-security prison. Driver Andrei Lipatov, charged with complicity in the attack, will spend four years in a high-security prison.
Yury Zarutsky, who actually attacked Filin with acid, will go to a high-security prison for ten years, according to the sentence, read out by Judge Yelena Maximova.
Earlier on Tuesday, the court ordered that Filin be paid 3.5 million rubles in damages, the sum Filin had been demanding from the defendants Dmitrichenko, Zarutsky and Andrei Lipatov.
The Bolshoi Theater artistic director Sergei Filin was attacked in Moscow in January 2013. A masked man splashed acid on the director as he stepped out of a car outside his house.
The attacker fled after throwing the acid onto Filin’s face causing severe burns.
According to theatre spokeswoman, Yekaterina Novikova, Filin had received threats before: the tires of his car had been punctured several times and his web page hacked.
Filin, who has undergone eye surgery at least 18 times, suffered severe burns to his eyes and face. According to June reports, one of Filin's eyes was blind and the other had only 10% vision.
In March, the artistic director's doctor Martin Hermel said that Sergei Filin will be able to return to work when his medical treatment ends. He said that considerable improvements were visible in his left eye but refused to make any forecasts regarding his right.
In September, Sergei Filin announced that he felt fit to return to work, eight months after an acid attack that nearly blinded him. "I see enough now to feel comfortable," said Filin, who was still wearing sunglasses to protect his eyes after months of treatments in Aachen, Germany.
A Russian judge on Tuesday found dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two co-defendants guilty of an acid attack that nearly blinded the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet last January. After a month-long trial, the judge said Dmitrichenko and two co-defendants had intentionally caused grievous bodily harm to the victim, Sergei Filin.
State prosecutors have asked for a nine-year prison sentence for Dmitrichenko, 29.
Judge Yelena Maximova is expected to issue a sentence later on Tuesday.
Court to announce verdict in Bolshoi Theater artistic director attack case
Moscow's Meshchansky court on Tuesday will hand down a verdict in the criminal case of an attack on Bolshoi Theatre [GABT] artistic director, Sergei Filin.
The injured party's lawyer Tatyana Skulakova said "Filin will not attend the verdict reading because he is undergoing treatment for his injury at a German clinic".
During arguments by the parties, prosecutor Yulia Shumovskaya had demanded nine years in prison for suspected attack mastermind, GABT leading soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko and ten and six years, respectively, for perpetrator of the attack Yuri Zarutsky and driver Andrei Lipatov.
They should serve their sentences in a maximum security penitentiary, Shumovskaya said.
Filin's representatives said they believed that the defendants' guilt had been proven.
"The defendants' coordinated actions indicate that they committed the crime in collusion," Filin's lawyers said. "Filin does not think that the defendants deserve clemency and asks the court to mete out real jail terms to all of them".
They also asked the court to meet Filin's 3.5 million-ruble damages suit.
Meanwhile, after his guilty plea, Zarutsky's lawyer asked the court to drop the phrase "in collusion" from the charges, as his client had told the court he had "used Dmitrichenko and Lipatov in his selfish interests".
Dmitrichenko, in his final statement, asked the judge to be impartial. "My parents gave me a decent upbringing; I'd never go for causing the harm to health which was inflicted on Filin," Dmitrichenko said. He noted however, that he felt moral responsibility for the incident because he had wished Filin to be beaten.
Yuri Zarutsky underscored his repentance. "I sincerely repent and wish to apologize to Lipatov's and Dmitrichenko's parents, because it was mean of me to involve two innocent persons in this reckless venture," he said. "I also wish to apologize to Sergei Filin who is suffering now".
Addressing the judge, he asked her for clemency acknowledging that "his greed led to one person's suffering harm to health and others' losing their freedom".
All the defendants objected to the damages sum saying it was exorbitant.
Filin was attacked in the evening of 17 January when an unidentified man splashed acid in his face.
The GABT artistic director was taken to hospital with face and eye burns and had to undergo several operations and long treatment. Doctors said then it would take him at least six months to convalesce, but Filin is still continuing his treatment. The attack reduced the victim's working ability by at least one-third, the investigator said.
All the suspects have been in custody since March 7. They were charged with "malicious infliction of grave harm to health in collusion".
According to the investigator, Dmitrichenko resented the way Filin was running the ballet company, his casting and payroll.
Voice of Russia, Interfax, TASS, RIA, dpa, Reuters