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Pattaya Daily News

10 July 2010 :: 19:07:11 pm 30438

Exclusive Insight into Pattaya’s Pletnev “Child Sex” Scandal

Due to the current speculation and media focus on the recent arrest of internationally renowned Russian musician, Mikhail Pletnev, on “child sex” charges, PDN would like to offer our readers a brief incite into the ‘facts’ surrounding the case and our subsequent investigations with Mr. Pletnev and the investigating officers.
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The arrest of Mr. Pletnev has led to several misleading reports and accusations of an injustice or even possible police corruption by Thai police. The facts however, reveal a legitimate arrest, adherence to due process and an ongoing police investigation into a large-scale paedophile network. Mr. Pletnev himself acknowledges the proper conduct of authorities albeit slightly confused regarding police procedures and the detailing of investigations and reports in the Thai language.

Children & Woman Protection Center investigators arrested Mr. Pletnev, a Grammy award winning internationally recognised musician, on Monday the 5th of July. His arrest followed police investigations into an alleged paedophile network operating out of an internet café owned by Mr. Traiphop Bunphasong. Mr. Bunphasong was arrested on Sunday the 4th of July and is believed to have implicated Mr. Pletnev in the child prostitution network.

Mr. Pletnev’s arrest and the subsequent search of his residence were carried out using a warrant issued by the Pattaya District Court on the 5th of July. The warrant was issued after police provided significant evidence to the court of Mr. Pletnev’s involvement with “sexual acts” committed against a minor/s, including a statement made by a victim’s mother. Investigations into the incident and Mr. Pletnev’s suspected involvement in a paedophile network operating in Pattaya are still ongoing.

In resultant interviews with PDN (located at the bottom of the feature), Mr. Pletnev acknowledged his relationship with Mr. Bunphasong and the existence of an internet café thought to be a front for a paedophile network. The details of the internet café scam can be read in our news article: http://www.pattayadailynews.com/pattaya-news/2010/07/10/paedophilic-internet-cafe-scam-investigated-in-pattaya/.

Mr. Pletnev has now been formally charged and given bail (Bt300,000 security) by the Pattaya Police, while the Pattaya District Court have accepted Mr. Pletnev’s application, on the 8th of July, for a travel allowance. He must now report to court on the 18th of July or in effect, every 12 days, under the terms of the agreement. Mr. Pletnev is believed to have left Thailand immediately following court and is now thought to be in Moscow ahead of his scheduled concert in Macedonia on the 12th of July.

Due to the speculation surrounding Mr. Pletnev’s case, the charge/s that he is facing and the resultant procedures, PDN managed to attain an exclusive interview with the lead investigating officer in the case, the transcript of which is detailed below, followed by an exclusive interview with Mr. Pletnev regarding his arrest.

PDN: What exactly was Mr. Pletnev arrested for and what was he charged with?

Officer: Mr. Pletnev was arrested and subsequently charged with ‘committing a sexual act/s against a child younger than 15-years-old with/without consent.’

PDN: How did Mr. Pletnev become implicated in the crime?

Officer: The mother of the/a victim came forth to provide police with evidence and a statement, further substantiating prior investigations into Mr. Pletnev’s involvement with/in regards to another suspect and/or paedophile network.

PDN: Has the suspect ever been arrested/charged in Thailand prior to this case?

Officer: No, he has not.

PDN: Having charged Mr. Pletnev and granted bail, what is the next step in the judicial process?

Officer: As Mr. Pletnev has paid the bail monies and been granted travel permission by the Pattaya District Court, the next step is his report date with the court, scheduled on the 18th of July. Meanwhile, local and division police are currently proceeding with investigations into Mr. Pletnev’s case gathering evidence for use by police prosecutors in the trial against him.

PDN: If Mr. Pletnev is found guilty of the charge/s being held against him, what will be the penalty?

Officer: Punishment for an offence such as the one Mr. Pletnev is facing includes between 4-20 years imprisonment and a Bt8,000–40,000 fine.

PDN: What happens if Mr. Pletnev does not report to the court on the 18th of July?

Officer: His bail will be revoked and the judicial proceedings will move to an extradition bid for his return to Thailand, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Should extradition not be possible or fail, Mr, Pletnev will be arrested if he attempts to re-enter Thailand.

Note: The above information is a direct translation from the Thai language transcript of an interview with police. Police denied video/audio recording of the interview.

For Mr. Pletnev’s thoughts, opinions and feelings on his arrest and the impending trial, please watch the PDN exclusive video featured below: This footage was taken prior to his court appearance on the 8th of July.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Editorial

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