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French musician Marouani may be charged with extortion, slander — Kirkorov’s lawyer

November 30, 2016, 0:44 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Marouani earlier said that one of singer Philipp Kirkorov’s songs is based on one of his melodies. Kirkorov’s lawyers responded by accusing Marouani and his Russian lawyer Igor Trunov of extortion.

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Didier Marouani

Didier Marouani

© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. French musician Didier Marouani, who was reportedly detained in Moscow Tuesday, may be charged with extortion and slander, said a lawyer of the Russian pop star embroiled in a legal battle with Marouani.

"Three articles of the Russian Criminal Code may be mentioned in the criminal case - extortion, slander and dissemination of personal information. A pre-investigation probe is currently under way,’ Alexander Dobrovinsky said.

Marouani earlier said that one of singer Philipp Kirkorov’s songs is based on his song Symphonic Space Dream. Kirkorov’s lawyers responded by accusing Marouani and his Russian lawyer Igor Trunov of extortion. Marouani and Trunov were reportedly detained in Moscow Tuesday when they arrived to sign a settlement agreement with Kirkorov.

Dobrovinsky denied any discussions on a settlement agreement with Marouani.

"To date, Philipp (Kirkorov) has never talked to Marouani. There was no agreement," he said, adding that a letter inviting Marouani to sign a settlement agreement was written by pranksters, who later contacted Kirkorov’s legal team and informed them on the matter.

The lawyer added that another forensic study of the song in question, carried out by independent experts on a request from Kirkorov’s team of lawyers, proved that no copyright infringement took place.

He said that Kirkorov only performed the song, and any kind of charges should be directed at its composer, Oleg Popkov.

"Trunov announced that Marouani had laid a claim of plagiarism against Kirkorov, which is nonsense by definition. Kirkorov is not the author, he is just a performer," the lawyer said.

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.

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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