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‘I didn't order acid be thrown at director’

A Bolshoi ballerina accused of planning an attack on an artistic director says he meant no serious harm.

A judge's gavel. Picture: RSC Inc.
dancer
World

MOSCOW - A Bolshoi Ballet dancer accused of organising an attack that nearly blinded the Russian theatre's artistic director said in court on Thursday that he did not intend for the victim to be splashed with acid.

Pavel Dmitrichenko indicated he had agreed when the alleged accomplice accused of carrying out the 17 January attack on Sergei Filin suggested roughing him up, but did not tell him to throw acid in Filin's face.

"When I heard what happened to Sergei, I was just in shock. I could not believe that the man who proposed beating him up went ahead and did this thing with acid," Dmitrichenko said.

"I did not order harm done to this man."

Dmitrichenko and two suspected accomplices were in court for a hearing at which prosecutors requested they be held in custody over the attack, which stunned Russia and left Filin with severe facial burns and fighting for his eyesight.

The dancer, who was arrested on Tuesday, admitted to organising the attack in a police video distributed on Wednesday, but said he did not mean for it to go so far.

A prosecutor said the state wants Dmitrichenko charged with a crime that is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

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