MOSCOW, April 16 (Itar-Tass) – Moscow's Taganka court on Tuesday extended custody, to June 18, of Bolshoi Theatre /GABT soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, accused of involvement in the attack on GABT artistic director Sergei Filin.
Investigator Altynov had not confirmed the report by city police that the investigation into the case had been completed. He told the court about the intention to complete the probe and bring the final charges within two months.
For his part, Dmitrichenko objected to the investigator's arguments, saying he had no plans to escape or put pressure. "I never ran away from problems, and I intend to prove my case in court in connection with my disagreement with the wording of the charges," the GABT soloist said.
Lawyer Violetta Volkova asked the court to release Dmitrichenko on bail or pledge. She showed 30 written pledges by Russian artists and athletes.
The investigator uses unconfirmed assumptions regarding Dmitrichenko's intention to use his extensive ties to put pressure; nothing confirms it; the very fact of the existence of such ties cannot be regarded as reasons in this case," Volkova said adding that as a lawyer, she could not be blamed for extensive contacts with criminals.
"The investigator is taking excessive actions," Volkova added.
Dmitrichenko looked upbeat at the hearing and exchanged jokes with journalists and the police convoy. He also thanked his acquaintances who had come to the court to give him their support. Prior to the hearing, he said he would go to his dacha to play football but the next moment he joked that his dinner in jail was getting cold.
After hearing the arguments of the parties, judge Natalia Konovalova met the investigator's petition and denied the request to release Dmitrichenko on a 500,000-rouble bail on artists' pledge.
Dmitrichenko's lawyers said they would appeal the decision.
The court is due to consider the petition to extend the arrest of two other suspects in the case.
The 42-year-old ballet art director was attacked near his house Troitskaya Street in Moscow late in the evening of January 17. An unidentified man splashed acid in his face and fled the scene. Filin was hospitalized with serious face and eye burns.
Police arrested Bolshoi Theatre leading soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko as suspected mastermind, perpetrator Yuri Zarutsky who has a criminal record and driver Andrei Lipatov who had brought Zarutsky to the scene of crime. If convicted, they might face up to 12 years in jail /Article 111, Part 3 of Russia's penal code/.
Law-enforcement bodies claimed all the suspects had confessed to the crime.
GABT director general Anatoly Iksanov made it clear that Dmitrichenko would not be fired if the court did not prove his culpability. Bolshoi Theatre employees said in an open letter that Dmitrichenko could not have masterminded the crime.
Filin, who is convalescing abroad, said he was not in conflict with /GABT leading soloist/ Pavel Dmitrichenko and that he felt "no enmity toward him." The official version of the attack is Dmitrichenko's "hate toward Filin because of the latter's employment activity."