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Entries in Acid Attack (3)

Tuesday
Mar052013

Bolshoi’s ‘Ivan the Terrible’ Held in Acid Attack

Sergei Filin leaves the hospital in Moscow, on February 4, 2013. AFP/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Police have reportedly detained three men, including a top dancer, for questioning in connection with the vicious sulfuric acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director for the renowned Bolshoi ballet company.

Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has been performing the lead role in a production of  “Ivan the Terrible,” was detained after his home was searched by police earlier in the day. According to RIA Novosti, Dmitrichenko has been with the Bolshoi ballet since 2002. Theater representatives have reportedly said there was tension between him and Filin.

According to Russian news reports, the other two men are Yuri Zarutsky, believed to have been the hooded attacker, and Andrei Lipatov, who is believed to have been the getaway driver. Police have yet to say who they believe ordered the attack.

According to the gossip website Lifenews.ru, authorities used electronic surveillance to track the suspects.

Filin was once the Bolshoi’s principal dancer and was named artistic director in 2011 amid controversial competition for the job. He was splashed with acid outside his home in central Moscow on Jan. 17 by a hooded assailant who then fled. Filin’s face was severely burned and he is currently in Germany as doctors work to restore his eyesight.

In an interview with the BBC before he left Russia, Filin said he had an idea who was behind the attack, but declined to name names.

Early on, fingers were pointed at Nikolai Tsiskaridze, another former top Bolshoi dancer, who has been critical of Filin’s work as artistic director and was said to have wanted the job. He has denied any involvement in the attack.

Filin reportedly told associates in the months leading up to the assault that he had been the subject of an intimidation campaign, including harassing calls and messages, but declined offers for protection.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb262013

Two Arrested in U.K. After Disfiguring Acid Attack

Comstock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Naomi Oni said she was on her way home from her job at a Victoria’s Secret store in London when a veiled woman walked up behind her and threw acid, burning her face and arm and temporarily blinding her.

Oni, 21, spent a month in the hospital after the Dec. 30 attack while doctors struggled to save her sight and did all they could to repair her damaged skin. She is now scarred for life.

Police are still struggling to understand why. In the beginning of the investigation police allegedly found evidence that she had researched acid attacks on her laptop and viewed Oni as a suspect. Oni told London’s Evening Standard that she was “hurt and angry” that police were investigating her for self-inflicted wounds.

“I’ve only just come out of hospital after having surgery on my eye,” she said. “To see this story saying that I’d done it made me so angry and really hurts. There’s no way I would have done this to myself. I want the person who did this to be caught.”

Now police have suspects. Two people -- a man and a woman -- were reportedly charged with causing grievous bodily harm in connection to the attack.

Scotland Yard told ABC News it is not commenting on the case, beyond this statement: “Enquiries are ongoing to establish the full circumstances of the incident.”

Oni says she was walking home, chatting on the cellphone with her boyfriend when she noticed someone following her. The next thing she knew her face and arm were burning with acid.
She doesn’t know what motivated the attack.

“You can burn my skin,” she says on a website dedicated to raising funds for her treatment, “but you can’t burn my soul.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
Feb082013

Bolshoi Ballet Acid Attack Mystery Deepens

YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty ImagesMOSCOW – The mystery over who was behind the vicious acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the famed Bolshoi Ballet, became even more intriguing on Friday, when police said they believe those responsible may have come from within the Bolshoi itself.

The Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed law enforcement source saying that members of the famed ballet troupe are considered suspects.

The Russian press has had a field day since the attack took place over three weeks ago trying to solve a whodunit crime that rivals some of the company’s most dramatic performances. There have been whispers and rumors suggesting theater politics were the cause of the attack, but Friday’s report was the first time police sources, albeit anonymously, pointed fingers at the victim’s colleagues.

Meanwhile, one of the company’s top dancers, Nikolai Tsaskaridze, a man with a history of tension with Filin (he’s believed to have coveted his job) told the BBC that efforts to implicate him in the crime are nothing but a “witch hunt.” He likened it to a Stalin-like campaign to force him out, and suggested the Bolshoi’s management was behind a smear campaign.

Pointing his finger at Bolshoi general director Anatoly Iksanov, Tsakaridze told the BBC, “He wants to damage my reputation. But my reputation can't be damaged. I was -- and I still am -- the most famous dancer in the Bolshoi.”

Tsakaridze also suggested Filin wasn’t attacked with acid, asking why his hands weren’t burned as well.

A theater spokeswoman dismissed that suggestion, telling the BBC, “I'm speechless. I don't care what Tsiskaridze thinks about it.”

Filin himself said recently he thought he knew who was behind the attack, though he said he would let the investigation run its course first. He left the hospital this week, his head bandaged and his damaged eyes covered by dark sunglasses. He left for Germany this week where he will receive additional treatment for the extensive burns on his face and work to recover his eyesight.

Tension within the uber-competitive ballet world is nothing new, and certainly not at the Bolshoi, where glory is reserved for a few stars, and the accompanying dancers fume with jealousy. Over the more than 200 years of the Bolshoi’s existence, there have been tales of crushed glass in the toes of ballet shoes and pins sticking into costumes, not to mention the occasional dead cat being thrown on stage.

As good as the Bolshoi is, this time the best drama is taking place off the stage.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio