MOSCOW, March 13 (Itar-Tass) – Bolshoi Theatre /GABT/ art director Sergei Filin, who is convalescing abroad after an acid attack, said he was not in conflict with /GABT leading soloist/ Pavel Dmitrichenko and that he felt "no enmity toward him."
Filin, 42, 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. Pavel Dmitrichenko is the suspected mastermind.
In an interview to Russia-24 channel, Filin expressed the opinion that "it seems somebody has worked at it well; somebody was nudging toward it; because every meeting with Pavel Dmtrihcneko was a new threat to me; a new demonstration of enmity."
"I don't want to conceal it now, because this is what happened, and I don't want to talk about it anymore, I apologize for repeating that it's not a very pleasant talk for me," Filin underlined.
Bolshoi Theatre director general Anatoly Iksanov made it clear that Dmitrichenko would not be fired if the court did not prove his culpability. "However, if he is found guilty, he will not come back to the stage," Iksanov said.
Earlier, he said the mass media's opinion about the investigation into the attack on the Theatre's artistic director Sergei Filin had been hasty.
"The Bolshoi Theatre employs 3,500 people who know both Sergei Filin and Pavel Dmitrichenko," Iksanov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday, in comments on the mass media reports that GABT staff were collecting signatures in an open letter to defend soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, arrested on charges of masterminding the attack.
"For a majority of us, the incident is a terrible tragedy, a psychological injury. Many mass media outlets gave hasty opinions and conclusions. The actors' letter is a normal reaction to the situation. Some personnel wish to help their colleague who found himself behind the bars. It's customary in Russia to help people in prisons."
Meanwhile, leading soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre ballet Pavel Dmitrichenko is ready to sign a plea bargain agreement.
"My client is ready for plea bargain, within the scope of his testimony," his lawyer Alexander Barkhanov told Tass.
Dmitrichenko admits "actual guilt in the commission of the crime against Filin," but categorically denies that he had wanted acid splashed on Filin or any other physical harm. It is confirmed by the testimony of suspected perpetrator of the crime Yuri Zarutsky. He insists that Dmitrichenko had never asked him to splash acid on Filin and that he had not paid any money to him for the attack, according to the lawyer.
The investigator had already offered plea bargain to Dmitrichenko; and promised to ask the court not to arrest him if he had confessed to the crime. "My client does not admit his guilt of malicious infliction of serious harm to health by a group of persons in collusion /Article 111, Part 3 of Russia's penal code/," the lawyer said.
He reminded that Dmitrichenko had not appealed his arrest.
Moscow's Taganka court sanctioned the arrest of three suspects till April 18.
When passing the decision on their arrest, the judge said no other measure of restraint was possible, as they could escape from the investigator, put pressure on witnesses, or continue their criminal activity. Also, Dmitrichenko personally knew the victim to whom he felt enmity.
Filin officially denied the mass media reports alleging his plans not to return to Russia.
"Sergei Filin asked to officially announce that the mass media reports alleging his plans to stay abroad do not correspond to reality," member of the Board of Trustees’ executive committee Mikhail Sidorov told Tass, "on the contrary, he plans to return home as soon as he gets well, because he cannot imagine not working at the Bolshoi Theatre."
Filin's colleagues hope he might resume work in the summer.