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Accused Bolshoi dancer's shock at acid attack on artistic director

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Accused Bolshoi dancer's shock at acid attack on artistic director

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A dancer at the Bolshoi ballet has told a court in Moscow that although he wanted the theatre’s artistic director to be assaulted he never intended him to be sprayed with acid.

Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has danced with the world-renowned troupe since 2002, is accused of organising the attack on Sergei Filin. Police have released a video of Dmitrichenko confessing to the plot.

The dancer said he had agreed when Yury Zarutsky had allegedly suggested roughing Filin up, but he did not tell him to throw acid in his face. Zarutsky and a driver, Andrei Lipatov, were reported to have been tracked down by police traces on phone calls made from the crime scene.

Dmitrichenko told the court he was shocked when he learned the extent of the assault in January. A prosecutor said the state wants the dancer charged with an offence that could carry a 12 year prison term.

A source at the Bolshoi said the dancer was angry that his partner, a ballerina in the company, had been passed over for top roles.

Filin, who suffered severe facial burns, is in Germany for surgery to save his sight.