Pavel Dmitrichenko appeared in court on the first day of his arraignment after arrested for his involvement in plotting attack on Bolshoi Theatre's artistic director Sergei Filin. From his cage, the dancer admitted he's the mastermind behind the attack but insisted throwing acid in Filin's face was not his idea.
"He always offered, 'Let me go there and solve this question, let me hit him over the head,' I agreed. But after I heard what happened to him, I was in shock," an exhausted-looking Dmitrichenko said as quoted by LA Times.
The ballet dancer who has joined Bolshoi since 2002 claimed he met the attacker Yuri Zarutski in Stupino which is the site of summer cottages used by Bolshoi Ballet personnel. He admitted to giving Zarutski, who's unemployed, a small sums of money to attack Filin and cited corruption at the theatre as his motives.
Dmitrichenko and Zarutski were arrested along with another suspect Andrei Lipatov. "I organized this attack but not in the way it happened," a bleary-eyed Dmitrichenko previously confessed in a video. Zarutski refused to answer any question, while Lipatov said in his own defense, "I didn't see how it happened. All I did was drive him there, wait and pick him up."
Dmitrichenko allegedly paid 50,000 rubles (about $1,600) to have the attack carried out. The acid was bought at an auto shop and heated before it was thrown in Filin's on January 17 outside his apartment. The director suffered severe burns to his eyes and faces. He currently undergoes treatment in Germany to save his vision.
Police became suspicious of Dmitrichenko after it was found out that he had recently been in a close contact with an unemployed man with a prison record. They made inquiries about Filin's schedule and whereabouts, and bought SIM cards for mobile phones registered under fake names.
Words run rampant that Dmitrichenko was angry at Filin because of the director's selection of certain dancers over others for coveted roles on stage. It's not him, but his girlfriend Anzhelina Vorontsova, who suffered from the casting decision made by Filin.
She was reportedly denied key roles by Filin, who helped her in a prestigious dance academy years ago, due to old grudge. The fallout between Filin and Vorontsova happened when she chose to dance at the Bolshoi instead of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Ballet where he then served as an artistic director before he himself moved to the Bolshoi.
Zarutski and his lawyer didn't say a word about Dmitrichenko's suggestion that using acid was his idea.