A jobless man has confessed to throwing acid in the face of Bolshoi Ballet boss Sergei Filin.
Yuri Zarutsky plotted with Pavel Dmitrichenko, a dancer at the famed Russian theatre troupe, to assault Filin after a series of bust-ups between the pair over artistic differences.
During a hearing at a Moscow court on Thursday (08Aug13), Zarutsky admitted squirting acid in Filin's face in January (13) in a horrific attack that has left the artistic director almost completely blind.
Dmitrichenko admits colluding with Zarutsky about a plan to "hit" Filin but is adamant he had no idea the career criminal would launch such a horrifying attack.
The dancer told the hearing, "I did not imagine that this person was capable of such a cruel and inhuman crime... I am happy that Filin is returning to work at the Bolshoi Theatre. The main thing is that he now recovers after the inhuman crime committed by Zarutsky, with whom I am unfortunately acquainted."
Dmitrichenko denies organising the attack. A third man, suspected getaway driver Andrei Lipatov, has also pleaded not guilty. A trial is expected to take place later this year (13).
Filin is still receiving treatment at a clinic in Germany but plans to return to work at the Bolshoi in September (13).