Justin Bieber will be arrested if he enters Argentina. An Argentine judge has ordered the arrest of the singer if he sets foot in the country. It follows the Canadian’s failure to appear at a deposition to answer probes about the alleged assault of a photographer by Bieber’s bodyguards outside a Buenos Aires nightclub in 2013.
Currently, the warrant appears to be apply only in Argentina. Bieber would have to be in the country to be arrested. However, Agence France-Presse reports the judge’s secretary revealed the court has asked Interpol – the international police body – “for Justin Bieber’s detention, anywhere in the world.”
Court secretary Soledad Nieto reportedly issued the statement on Friday, after the judge signed the order for Bieber’s detainment on April 8.
The entertainment website FarandulaShow posted a copy of the court ruling which Nieto confirmed as authentic, Page Six reports.
Judge Alberto Julio Banos’ order stated the following,
“I consider it pertinent to order the immediate detention of the accused.” Banos reportedly also ordered the “immediate detention” of two Bieber bodyguards — Hugo Alcides Hesny and Terrence Reche Smalls.
Last November, Judge Facundo Cubas summoned Bieber to appear before an Argentine court within 60 days, claiming there is enough evidence against the singer to question him over an alleged criminal assault of a photographer by his bodyguards.
Bieber has been accused by Argentine photog Diego Pesoa of ordering his bodyguards to assault the lensman outside Buenos Aires’ nightclub INK in the Palermo Hollywood district on November 9, 2013, during the South American leg of his Believe Tour.
Pesoa alleges he was kicked and punched by the singer’s security, after they escorted the black-sheet covered superstar to a waiting van from INK, following a night of partying after a concert the night before.
Speaking to the Associated Press in November, Judge Cubas said of the alleged assault, “The evidence from witnesses, footage and photos shows that he [Bieber] didn’t want his pictures taken. That led his bodyguards to chase down after the photographers and it was followed by a beating.”
However, it’s questionable whether any alleged evidence of Bieber allegedly indicating he didn’t want his photos taken, rises to an actual order to his bodyguards to allegedly attack the photographer.
At the time, Judge Cubas requested Argentina’s Interpol branch to assist in tracking down Bieber to inform the singer of the court’s order to appear for questioning.
“Bieber has to come to Argentina, and it won’t be to sing,” Matias Morla, Pesoa’s lawyer, previously told C5N TV, later tweeting about the singer. Morla — who is a lawyer known to court media attention — alleges his client claims Bieber ordered his bodyguards to attack Pesoa, and that the photographer’s alleged assault led to him needing hospital treatment.
The lawyer then tweeted a picture of Judge Cubas’ summons and added a baiting picture of Bieber in jail clothes. It was taken when he appeared via video link before a judge after his arrest on suspicion of DUI in Miami Beach last January.
The order by Judge Banos is a significant escalation of the alleged assault case against Bieber and his bodyguard.
As regards the critical question of possible extradition, if the Argentine court requests that at some point, that would be down to the relevant authorities in his native country. In 1999, Canada brought in a new Extradition Act replacing a statute that had been kicking around since 1877.
Many critics have said the 1999 legislation — which harmonizes the Canadian extradition system with international legal fighting bodies — also removed vital protections previously available to Canadians, which makes them vulnerable to extradition by governments that “cannot be described as free and democratic.”
Under the 1999 Extradition Act, Argentina could request Canada extradite Bieber for 1) the purpose of prosecution; 2) for the purpose of imposing a sentence on the person; or 3) for the purpose of enforcing a sentence already imposed on the person.
However, Bieber has not been charged with an offense. It remains to be seen if this case ever gets as far as extradition, and whether the singer falls into the criteria required under an extradition request of “suspected or convicted criminal(s).” It is arguable whether Bieber was originally court-summoned to Argentina as a witness or as a suspect.
The Associated Press reports that under Argentine law, Bieber would face anything from one month to six years in prison if convicted on a charge of causing injuries.
[Images via Getty Images]