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Pianist accused of child sex will continue concert schedule

By the CNN Wire Staff
Mikhail Pletnev was arrested Monday inside his house in Pattaya, Thailand.
Mikhail Pletnev was arrested Monday inside his house in Pattaya, Thailand.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Acclaimed Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev arrested in Thailand
  • He was questioned on allegations of rape involving an underage boy
  • Thai court allowing Pletnev to leave the country
  • He said he will come back to Thailand after some concerts

Moscow, Russia (CNN) -- Acclaimed Russian pianist Mikhail Pletnev, who has been charged with sexually abusing a teen-aged boy in Thailand, will continue his concert schedule but will return to that country to appear in court, the musician's spokeswoman said Thursday.

Pletnev is expected to arrive in Moscow Thursday night and then will head to the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia for a July 12 concert, the spokeswoman said. He starts a tour in the United States on July 18 and at some point will fly to Thailand to attend a court hearing, the spokeswoman added.

Pletnev was arrested and released on bail Tuesday, a police official involved with the investigation told CNN. A Russian diplomat in Thailand said the pianist denied the charges, the official Russian news agency Itar-Tass said.

He was charged with raping a 14-year-old boy in a Thai beach town, a crime that carries a maximum prison term of 20 years upon conviction, Thailand's official MCOT news agency reported.

Pletnev was released on $9,000 bail and ordered to be back in the country by July 18, according to Itar-Tass.

Russia demanded clarification of the sex abuse charges against its Grammy-winning pianist, the state-run news agency RIA-Novosti said.

"The Russian Culture Ministry together with Russian Foreign Ministry have forwarded an urgent order to the Russian Embassy in Thailand to make all necessary efforts to clarify the situation and to offer maximum consulate protection to the distinguished musician," according to an online Cultural Ministry statement cited by RIA-Novosti Wednesday.

Itar-Tass said the allegations against Pletnev were based on the testimony of a Thai citizen who claimed that he helped arrange the pianist's purchase of sexual services.

CNN's Maxim Tkachenko contributed to this report.