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Thai Court Ends Case Against Mikhail Pletnev

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An investigation has been dropped against Russian conductor and pianist Mikhail Pletnev, who was arrested last summer in Thailand on suspicion of molesting a teenager.

The investigation began in July, when Pletnev, who is the founder and conductor of the Russian National Orchestra, was arrested in the Thai beach resort of Pattaya, where he owns a home. There had been allegations that he was involved in a child prostitution ring and had molested a 14-year-old boy.

Shortly after the arrest Pletnev was brought before a court, which released him on bail and allowed him to leave Thailand. Thai authorities failed to send Pletnev's case to court in the required 84-day period, which expired on September 28, thus ending the investigation. After the charges were dropped, bail was lifted in October, and returned to him in late November.

A statement by the Russian National Orchestra states: "Mr. Pletnev has always refuted the accusations made against him. He has been fully cooperative during Thai authorities’ investigations."

According to the Pattaya Daily News, the Pletnev incident did uncover evidence of an organized child prostitution ring, which is still under investigation.

The RNO, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary season, is currently on a European tour under Pletnev, and with soloist Gidon Kremer. The tour covers Budapest, Baden-Baden, Paris, Essen, Cologne, and Brussels among other cities. Pletnev conducts the orchestra on Wednesday in its home town of Moscow.