Sergei Filin takes the stand.
As Dmitrichenko continued to ask questions about supposed conflicts between Filin and other employees at the theatre, Filin became flustered and irate, at one point breaking into falsetto to impersonate Veronika Sanadze, the head of the ballet office at the theatre, with whom Dmitrichenko alleged he had a dispute. Filin said the conflict had been manipulated by Dmitrichenko, who had seized on it "like Batman" to organise other dancers into a plot against him.
Filin, now 43, told his story for more than an hour before Judge Yelena Maximova or the prosecutor asked a single question. As artistic director, he assigned roles that could vault a dancer to stardom — or relegate him or her to the provinces. Never, he said, had he taken a bribe in return for assigning a role, despite speculation after he was injured that the Bolshoi was a nest of favoritism, corruption and plots for revenge.
“I will not forgive anybody for what happened,” Filin, 43, said firmly without looking toward the cage that held the three defendants, Pavel Dmitrichenko, 29, a leading Bolshoi ballet soloist who is charged with masterminding the plan, and two men who have been indicted for carrying it out.