Entertainment

Bieber quizzed over Argentina assault, arrest request: media

ROME: Pop star Justin Bieber is being quizzed by police in Rome in connection with Argentina’s request for him to be arrested over the alleged assault of a photographer, Italian media reported Wednesday.

Two of the country’s most respected dailies, La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, said the Canadian heart throb was under interrogation at his five-star hotel, but had not been arrested.

Police contacted by AFP denied the star had been arrested but did not comment on the reports of him being questioned.

Bieber, 21, arrived in Rome earlier this week to film a cameo role in the film Zoolander 2, which is being shot in the Italian capital.

According to the reports he was being quizzed in relation to an April 8 request from an Argentinian judge for Interpol to issue a Red Notice for the pop star’s arrest.

Bieber ignored a November court order to appear before the judge in the case, which dates to a November 2013 stop in Buenos Aires on his Believe tour.

Photographer Diego Pesoa accuses Bieber of instructing a bodyguard to forcefully seize his camera and cellphone outside a nightclub in the upscale Palermo neighbourhood.

Interpol, the international police body, does not issue arrest warrants itself, but can send out a Red Notice informing its 190 member states that a suspect is wanted in a particular country.

Bieber once enjoyed a squeaky clean image but has more recently had frequent run-ins with the law, including one in Canada in which he allegedly assaulted a limousine driver.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to lesser charges after taking part in an illegal drag race on a Miami street.

He was sentenced to two years’ probation last year for throwing eggs at the home of a neighbour in California.

The 2013 tour stop, Bieber’s only visit to Argentina, was peppered with scandals. He was thrown out of a hotel, and cut one show short after 45 minutes because of a stomach ache, angering some fans. -AFP

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