Dancer acid attack: Men sentenced in Bolshoi Ballet attack

Posted at 5:47 PM, Dec 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-03 17:47:28-05

MOSCOW (CNN) — 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.

3 men sentenced in Bolshoi Ballet acid attack case - Star dancer Pavel DmitrichenkStar 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.

3 men sentenced in Bolshoi Ballet acid attack case - Yuri ZarutskyFilin 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.

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.

3 men sentenced in Bolshoi Ballet acid attack case - Andrei LipatovDmitrichenko 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.

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.