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Thai court drops all charges against acclaimed Russian pianist

Thailand had cancelled a child molestation suit against world-known pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev.

The musician, charged with sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in July, could have faced up to 20 years behind bars if he had been found guilty.

During the investigation, Pletnev had to return to the resort town of Pattaya every two weeks to renew his $9,000 bail.

Now all restrictions have been lifted. Thai authorities confirmed his multi-entry visa will remain valid.

“Mikhail Pletnev has received a notification saying that Thai Prosecutor’s Office is canceling the case,” the Russian National Orchestra’s press center reported. “All the charges have been lifted, and Pletnev will not be included in any kind of a blacklist.”

The musician owns a bungalow in Thailand and spends several weeks there each year.

“We hope to forget all these as a bad dream and return to our musical activities,” Svetlana Chaplygina, the orchestra’s press attaché was quoted by RIA-Novosti news agency as saying. “Although Mikhail stayed calm and treated the charges like a God-sent trial, we are very happy that the issue has been solved before the New Year.”

Mikhail Pletnev told RIA-Novosti that he had not had any doubts about the outcome of the investigation.

“I was sure that I was not guilty,” Pletnev said. “Now that it all ended, there is only one thing I can add: this slander was well-paid.”