The Bolshoi ballet dancer charged with ordering an acid attack on its artistic director will be detained until mid-August, a Moscow court ruled Friday, as the alleged perpetrator said he had used a mixture of battery fluid and urine.
Pavel Dmitrichenko is charged with two accomplices over the attack on artistic director Sergei Filin and faces 12 years in prison in a case that exposed the bitter divisions in the renowned troupe.
Dmitrichenko has said that he asked for Filin to be beaten up but did not order an acid attack.
Investigators asked the Tagansky district court to hold Dmitrichenko for a further two months until August 18, which the judge permitted, Russian television reported.
At a dramatic court session, the suspected perpetrator, unemployed ex-convict Yury Zarutsky, claimed that he carried out the attack alone and used urine.
"I didn't intend to cause harm to health. I wanted to humiliate him. It was not sulphuric acid but battery fluid and I added in urine," he said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.
His hair cropped short, Dmitrichenko asked to be freed from detention, saying he did not admit his guilt and had not confessed.
He told the court: "I am not guilty at all, I do not admit my guilt. There was no confession. I ask not to be kept behind bars."
The dancer appeared to cast doubt on Filin's injuries. The artistic director is being treated in Germany and has undergone 18 eye operations since the January attack.
"The man has lost his sight, and yet gives interviews about love.... I really want have a face-to-face meeting with Sergei," Dmitrichenko said.
Filin's lawyer Tatyana Stukalova told Interfax that her client's "state is without change. The doctors so far are not giving a prognosis."
The Bolshoi ballet, which has just toured Australia, has been rocked by scandals lately and this month dropped veteran star Nikolai Tsiskaridze after he gave interviews calling for the management to be sacked.
In a separate damaging case, Russia's Interior Ministry said Thursday that it had identified a $2.8-million embezzlement involving a company contracted to work on its electrics during a major refit of its main building.