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Thailand revokes visa of Russian maestro on rape charge

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 20:59

Bangkok: Thailand has cancelled the visa of
Russian conductor Mikhail Pletnev, meaning he faces
deportation even if child rape charges against him are
dropped, an immigration official said on Wednesday.

"The Thai immigration bureau has blacklisted him on the
grounds that his behaviour is detrimental to Thailand," said
Major General Pansak Kasamsan, deputy commissioner at the
"His Thai visa was automatically revoked after his name
was blacklisted," he said. "He would eventually be deported
whether it goes to trial or the charges are dropped."

Pletnev, artistic director of the Russian National
Orchestra, was charged in early July with the rape of a
14-year-old boy in Pattaya, where he has a house.

He denies the charge, which carries a sentence of up to
20 years in jail, and was released on bail.

The award-winning maestro was allowed by a Thai court to
travel overseas but is required to report back every 12 days.
He returned to Thailand over the weekend after attending a
music festival in Macedonia.
Pletvev told Russian media today that he had been given
permission by the court to leave the country again. It was
unclear whether the cancellation of his visa would affect his
travel plans.

"My mother`s birthday is in a few days and I cannot and
don`t want to miss it. The lawyer has just told me that
permission had been obtained," Pletnev told RIA Novosti.

Pletnev, 53, founded the Russian National Orchestra in
1990 just before the break-up of the Soviet Union and his
arrest has sent shock waves through Russia`s musical world.

He 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.


First Published: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 20:59

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