A Bolshoi dancer and two co-defendants appeared in a caged dock on Tuesday accused of staging an acid attack on the head of the famed Moscow ballet troupe, before their trial was adjourned.
Pavel Dmitrichenko, a leading dancer at Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre, pictured inside the defendant's cage during a court hearing in Moscow, on October 22, 2013
The Meshchansky District Court in Moscow postponed until next Tuesday the start of full hearings in the case due to the absence of the lawyer of one of the three defendants.
Former Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko faces up to 12 years in prison on charges of planning the January 17 assault against his former boss, the artistic director Sergei Filin.
The 29-year-old is detained along with Yury Zarutsky -- accused of flinging a mix of sulfuric acid and urine in Filin's face -- and a man who drove the assailant to the scene named Andrei Lipatov.
All three defendants were led into the courtroom handcuffed and placed inside a caged dock for Tuesday's brief hearing as dozens of reporters packed the small room.
The attack outside Filin's apartment block in central Moscow virtually blinded the 42-year-old former ballet star and left him with severe facial burns.
The trial started on October 16 with a preliminary closed-door hearing.
Full hearings will be open to the media and are expected to shed more light on the infighting that has reportedly raged for the past year inside the world-renowned troupe.
Dmitrichenko is suspected of ordering an attack on Filin as an act of revenge. He has admitted to being angry at the limited role within the theatre of his then girlfriend and fellow dancer Angelina Vorontsova.
He has since been ousted by the company while Vorontsova has quit the Bolshoi and is now dancing with the Mikhailovsky ballet in Saint Petersburg to considerable acclaim.
The Russian government over the summer fired Bolshoi general director Anatoly Iksanov and replaced him with Vladimir Urin of Moscow's Stanislavsky Theatre.
The theatre also parted ways with flamboyant star dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze after he waged a bruising war of words with both Filin and Iksanov.
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