Rape charges are 'set up': Russian conductor Pletnev
Acclaimed Russian conductor Mikhail Pletnev on Saturday again protested his innocence after being charged with raping a teenage boy in Thailand, saying the affair was a "set up."
"A big company wants to present me as a criminal, which I am not," Pletnev told a press conference at this Macedonian lake resort, without elaborating.
"Nowhere in the world I did anything wrong. On the contrary, I have done a lot of good things in Thailand, which inhabitants there could tell about," Pletnev said.
"I hope all this will be solved soon or later and justice will prevail," he said.
Pletnev and his Russian National Orchestra (RNO) were to perform on Monday at the opening ceremony of the summer music festival in the southern Macedonian town of Ohrid, where he had come along with members of the RNO aboard a charter flight from Moscow.
The artistic director of the RNO has been allowed by a Thai court to travel overseas after posting extra bail, but is required to report back to the court every 12 days, starting from July 18.
Earlier this week in Moscow Pletnev denied the charges, saying he could not imagine himself in the role of a rapist and he was against all forms of violence "especially when it concerns children."
© 2010 AFP