Pianist Mikhail Pletnev Accused of Child Sex Abuse To Take Part in Music Festival in Europe

A Russian acclaimed pianist accused of child sex abuse in Thailand is due to participate in music festivals in Europe, a radio station said on Monday.

Mikhail Pletnev, 53, has been accused of raping a 14-year-old boy. He denies the charges.

He was initially freed on bail and flew to Moscow. The Grammy-winning musician then returned for a hearing on July 18 and was again allowed to leave the country on the condition that he return for a new hearing. The date for the new hearing has yet to be set, RIA Novosti reports.

Mikhail Pletnev, the conductor and founder of the Russian National Orchestra, told reporters before his court appearance that allegations he had raped a 14-year-old boy were "not true".

"During the police search of my home, nothing connected with the allegations - no photographs or other visual material - was found on (my) computer," he said, reading from a prepared statement.

Thailand has long been known as a haven for sex tourists and paedophiles because of widespread prostitution and lax law enforcement. Authorities have launched a crackdown and the conductor's July 6 arrest is one of the most prominent cases to date.

Mr Pletnev could face up to 20 years in jail if found guilty, The Press Association news agency says.

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