Thai court extends bail for Russian maestro on sex charge

30th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Thai court on Friday extended bail granted to Russian conductor Mikhail Pletnev, who has been charged with raping a 14-year-old boy, his lawyer said.

Pletnev, artistic director of the Russian National Orchestra, denies the accusation, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in jail.

He was released in early July after posting 300,000 baht (9,300 dollars) bail.

The award-winning maestro was granted permission to travel overseas, but is required to report back every 12 days to the court in the resort city of Pattaya, where he has a house. His next hearing is on August 11.

Police said they hoped to finish their investigation next month.

"We are gathering more evidence and questioning witnesses," Lieutenant Colonel Omsin Sukkanka told AFP. "I hope that within the next 24 days the investigation and the case will be wrapped up."

Pletnev is a member of President Dmitry Medvedev's advisory council on culture and art, and in 2005 won a Grammy award for best chamber music performance.

© 2010 AFP

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