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Russian police sees no reasons for case against Marouani — source

November 30, 2016, 4:47 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The final decision on whether to lay the charges of extortion against the French musician will be based on the results of the pre-investigation check, which is yet to be completed.

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MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. Moscow police so far sees no reasons for launching an extortion case against French musician Didier Marouani on a request from Russian pop star Philipp Kirkorov, a law enforcement source told TASS.

"At present, police sees no reason for launching a criminal case against Marouani and (his Russian lawyer Igor) Trunov," the source said.

The source added that the final decision will be based on the results of the pre-investigation check, which is yet to be completed.

Marouani and his lawyer were detained in Moscow Tuesday when they arrived to sign a settlement agreement in a copyright infringement case with Russian pop star Philipp Kirkorov. They were released in the early hours of Wednesday.

Marouani, who founded the electronic band Space in 1977, said that one of Kirkorov’s songs partly copies his own song, Symphonic Space Dream. Kirkorov’s lawyers denied all accusations and retaliated by accusing Marouani and Trunov of slander and extortion.

Marouani demanded a Russian court to ban Kirkorov from performing the song, titled Zhestokaya lyubov (or Cruel Love), and claimed a compensation of 75.34 mln rubles (roughly $1.15 mln). 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. An alternative study, carried out on a request from Kirkorov’s lawyers, found no copyright infringement.

On Monday, Trunov said that Kirkorov had agreed to sign a settlement agreement and pay the compensation. However, Kirkorov’s attorney denied this information saying it was an attempt to exert pressure on Kirkorov and ruin his good name. He later explained that the settlement agreement talks were a hoax by two notorious Russian pranksters Alexei Stolyarov and Vladimir Krasnov, known as Lexus and Vovan.

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