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Probe underway based on Russian pop star’s report of extortion

November 29, 2016, 20:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Kirkorov is said to have filed a report stating "some people" had been extorting €1,000,000 from him threatening to disclose information that could ruin his reputation

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Russian pop singer Philipp Kirkorov

Russian pop singer Philipp Kirkorov

© Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Police have started a probe based on Russian singer Philipp Kirkorov’s report of extortion, the press service of the Moscow Office of Russia’s Interior Ministry told TASS.

According to the press service, Kirkorov filed a report saying some people had been extorting €1,000,000 from him and threatening to reveal information that could ruin his reputation.

"The police have started a probe," the press service said adding that no one has been detained so far.

Trunov’s attorney Lyudmila Aivar earlier told TASS that French musician Didier Marouani, founder of the band Space, and his Russian lawyer Igor Trunov had been detained in Moscow at a Sberbank office. "Marouani and Trunov arrived at the office to sign a settlement agreement with singer Philipp Kirkorov but the police had already been waiting for them," she said noting that the detention was a provocation on behalf of Kirkorov and his attorney.

According to a source familiar with the situation, the two have been detained on suspicion of extorting money from Kirkorov, the singer’s attorney Alexander Dobrovinsky confirmed this information.

Didier Marouani earlier demanded a Russian court to ban Kirkorov from performing his song Zhestokaya lyubov (or Cruel Love) and claimed compensation of 75.34 mln rubles (roughly $1.15 mln) for copyright infringement. Apart from Kirkorov, composer Oleg Popkov, Philipp Kirkorov Production company, Sony Music Entertainment, Ronees group of companies as well as the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company were named as defendants in the suit. However, after the Moscow City Court dismissed the claim, Marouani said he intended to apply to a US court.

According to Marouani, Kirkorov’s song is based on his song Symphonic Space Dream. Russia’s forensic research center has carried out a comprehensive musicological study to prove copyright infringement upon the plaintiff’s request and came to the conclusion that Kirkorov’s song was based on reusing the original recording.

On Monday, Marouani’s attorney Igor Trunov said that Kirkorov had agreed to sign a settlement agreement and compensate for copyright infringement. However, Kirkorov’s attorney denied this information saying it was an attempt to exert pressure on Kirkorov and ruin his good name. He also rejected the copyright infringement claim.

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