MOSCOW: A Russian court on Tuesday sentenced a Bolshoi dancer found guilty of an acid attack on the troupe’s artistic director to six years in a penal colony, in the finale to a sensational case that exposed the dark backstage of the storied institution.

Former soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko plus his two co-defendants were found guilty of inflicting premeditated grievous bodily harm on the Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin, ruled Judge Yelena Maksimova. The January attack left Filin nearly blind as the acid flung in his face caused severe injuries to eyes and skin. He underwent dozens of operations and is continuing treatment in Germany. The high-profile case marked the biggest scandal to embroil the world’s most famous ballet company and revealed the vicious infighting simmering beneath the surface of the theatre’s elegant ballets and stunning operas.

Dmitrichenko, who was known for dancing dark characters like Ivan the Terrible, masterminded the plan to attack Filin because he was unsatisfied with how he was managing dancers, the judge said during the course of a three-hour-long hearing. “Dmitrichenko was unhappy with the way Filin allocated roles and bonuses to dancers, Dmitrichenko worked out a criminal plan,” Maksimova said in the final hearing of the trial that has gripped the ballet world for weeks. Dmitrichenko asked an ex-convict acquaintance, Yury Zarutsky, to carry out the attack,  the judge said.–AFP