3 men sentenced in Bolshoi Ballet acid attack case

Pavel Dmitrichenko, a leading dancer at Russias Bolshoi Theatre, looks on as he stands inside the defendant's cage during a court hearing in Moscow, on October 22, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko is given a six-year prison term for masterminding the attack
  • Accomplice Yuri Zarutsky and driver Andrei Lipatov are also convicted
  • The acid attack almost blinded the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, Sergei Filin
  • The case has exposed rivalries and tensions at the world-renowned ballet company

Three men were convicted and sentenced Tuesday in Russia for masterminding and carrying out an acid attack on the Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director, Sergei Filin.

Star dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko was given six years in prison for masterminding the attack, while accomplice Yuri Zarutsky was sentenced to 10 years and driver Andrei Lipatov got four years, a reporter for the official Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) who was in court told CNN.

Prosecutors at the Moscow court had asked for Dmitrichenko to be given nine years in prison, RAPSI reported earlier.

Filin was walking to his Moscow apartment in January when a masked assailant tossed sulfuric acid onto his face, leaving him severely burned and nearly blinded.

He has spent much of the past year in Germany, where doctors have been working to save his sight.

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The case, which has been closely watched in Russia and elsewhere, has exposed the tensions and intrigues simmering below the surface at the world-renowned ballet company.

Dmitrichenko argued during his trial that he had wanted Filin to be punished in some way for failing to give him the roles he wanted; for example, by being beaten up. But, the dancer said, he did not expect Filin to be subjected to an acid attack.

The power struggle tearing apart the Bolshoi

In his evidence, Zarutsky told the court that the acid attack was his own idea and that he had not told Dmitrichenko about it.

Many fellow Bolshoi dancers signed a letter asking the judge for leniency for Dmitrichenko.

In his summary, the judge said that in his view, the attack was organized by Dmitrichenko.

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