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MOSCOW: More than 300 members of Russia’s world-famous Bolshoi Theatre rose yesterday to the defence of a top dancer who was charged with masterminding a sulphuric acid attack against the ballet’s artistic director.
The police detained Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko last week with two others who were accused of being in on the plot against Sergei Filin.
The ballet’s artistic director is currently recovering from eye damage and facial disfigurement in a German clinic.
Dmitrichenko admitted to organising the attack in footage aired on Russian state television before changing his testimony and saying that he never intended for acid to be used. But the theatre’s crew — including not only dancers but also singers and orchestra members — said in a letter to President Vladimir Putin and the government that the confession seemed forced.
“For everyone who knows Dmitrichenko, the very idea that he could have thought of and ordered this crime — committed in such a brutal manner — is absurd,” said the letter quoted by Russian news agencies.
“The conclusion made by the investigation seems premature to us, the evidence unconvincing and Pavel’s confession itself, which was later changed, the result of strong pressure.”
The Bolshoi cast also called for the creation of a commission that could oversee the investigation. “We call on the country’s leadership to create an independent commission that could uncover the reasons leading to this tragedy.” AFP