Asia-Pacific

Rape charge Russian pianist Pletnev returns to Thailand

Russian pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev at Pattaya provincial court
Image caption Mikhail Pletnev denies the allegations against him

Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev, accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, has briefly appeared at a Thai court.

Mr Pletnev was ordered to return to the resort town of Pattaya every 12 days to renew his bail, set at $9,000 (£5,900).

Mr Pletnev, who conducts the Russian National Orchestra, is allowed to travel abroad as long as he continues to make his court appearances.

Speaking to reporters outside court, Mr Pletnev said: "I say again these allegations are not true."

"I have always stated that I will assist the police in every way I can with their enquiries into the allegations that have been made against me."

Mr Pletnev was charged with rape earlier this month. If found guilty he could face up to 20 years in prison.

He was not considered a flight risk because he is resident in Thailand and owns property there.

Mr Pletnev is an internationally famous musician - a virtuoso pianist, composer and conductor - and a friend of former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.

He won a Grammy in 2005 for an arrangement of Prokofiev's Cinderella.

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