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article imageBolshoi dancer behind acid attack freed

By Gabrielle T├ętrault-Farber (AFP)     Jun 1, 2016 in Crime

A ballet dancer who masterminded an acid attack on the Bolshoi's artistic director has been released on parole after demonstrating "exemplary behaviour" in prison, a court said on Wednesday.

Pavel Dmitrichenko was sentenced to six years in prison in 2013 for orchestrating the attack on artistic director Sergei Filin which left him scarred and partially blind.

But a court in the central Ryazan region approved the dancer's early release, saying he had demonstrated "exemplary behaviour" in prison and had "fully compensated the victim for the damages incurred".

Speaking late on Tuesday, lawyer Sergei Kadyrov told TASS state news agency that his client was already "back home in Moscow".

It was not immediately clear when Dmitrichenko, who had been serving his sentence at a prison camp in Ryazan, was released.

"The truth has prevailed over falsehood," Dmitrichenko wrote on his Facebook page, thanking all his supporters.

An unnamed source familiar with the case told TASS that the Bolshoi soloist was planning on resuming his dance career and could be returning to the famed troupe.

Bolshoi director Vladimir Urin said Dmitrichenko's spot in the troupe had been filled but suggested that he could apply.

"Right now, Dmitrichenko could be hired by meeting the general requirements: by passing an artistic audition like any other candidate," he told Interfax news agency.

The January 2013 attack that rocked the dance world saw Filin doused with acid, apparently on Dmitrichenko's orders.

Filin told Russia's Ren-TV that he had not been informed of the soloist's release.

- Jaw-dropping allegations -

The trial of Filin's attackers uncovered jaw-dropping allegations that the artistic director handed out roles in exchange for money and sexual favours.

Dmitrichenko, who was known for injecting life into dark characters like Ivan the Terrible, planned the attack because he was angry with Filin's management decisions, said the judge hearing his case in 2013.

According to the court, the soloist was upset that his ex-girlfriend -- up-and-coming soloist Anzhelina Vorontsova -- had been passed over for top roles.

Filin resumed work at the theatre in late 2013 after undergoing multiple surgeries to repair the damage caused to his eyes and skin.

The Bolshoi Theatre last year announced that it was not renewing Filin's contract, replacing him in October with La Scala's Makhar Vaziev.

Filin continues to work with the company in a less senior role, last week presenting a series of performances conceived by young choreographers.

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