Three men linked to an acid attack badly injuring Bolshoi Theatre's artistic director Sergei Filin have been taken into custody in Moscow. Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who joined the Bolshoi Theatre since 2002, was held along with Andrei Lipatov and Yuri Zarutsky, New York Times reports.
The arrests were made after Russian detectives were combing through the records of cellphone calls placed from areas around the crime scene. The investigation led to raids on two apartments, one of which belongs to Dmitrichenko. Lipatov was arrested in the other house.
According to police officials, Dmitrichenko was the mastermind behind the attack that almost blinded Filin. Lipatov was believed to be the one who drove the attacker Zarutsky to the scene before he tossed a jar of sulfuric-acid in Filin's face. All the men arrested have reportedly confessed to the crime.
They will be held for two days pending a formal arraignment. They will most likely be slapped with charges of inflicting grave bodily harm that could earn them up to eight years in jail if convicted.
Filin was attacked on January 17 outside his apartment. As he entered an entry code to enter the building, a masked man called his name and threw acid in his face. He suffered severe burns to his face and eyes and needed numerous surgeries to save his vision.
Filin, who became the artistic director in 2011 after Gennady Yanin's resignation following photo scandal, was released from a hospital in Moscow and transferred to German for further treatment. Believing that he was attacked over professional grudge, he once said that he knew who was behind the attack, but would only speak after an announcement by investigators.
A spokeswoman from the theatre said she was not aware of any "sharp conflict" between Filin and Dmitrichenko. "In addition, I want to say that it doesn't matter how sharp the conflict may be between people - it doesn't mean anything," she stated. "I think investigators should work and find proof."
On the other hand, principal dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze who has himself come under scrutiny due to his feud with the Bolshoi management claimed Filin and Dmitrichenko often clashed about money.
Dmitrichenko or any people from his camp haven't commented on his arrest. He was cast by Filin to play the lead role in the ballet "Ivan the Terrible" last fall.