Justin Bieber probably won’t be hotfooting it to Argentina anytime soon, but reportedly he could if he wanted to.
TMZ reports an Argentinian court “notified Interpol Argentina to withdraw an outstanding arrest warrant against Bieber and erase it from the system.”
The gossip website went on to claim Bieber is no longer on Interpol’s official wanted list. Which will likely come as news to Interpol, as E! News reported in April that Bieber’s name wasn’t on the Argentinian Interpol list.
On April 10, Judge Alberto Banos’s secretary told AFP, “We are asking Interpol for Justin Bieber’s detention, anywhere in the world.” He added, “Since he could not be found for his appearance to testify, we request that he be detained,”
Judge Banos also issued an order for the “immediate detention” of Bieber if he set foot in Argentina, and the detainment of his guards — Hugo Alcides Hesny and Terrence Reche Smalls.
These drastic steps arose after Bieber failed to appear at a deposition to answer questions about the alleged assault of a paparazzo by Bieber’s bodyguards outside a Buenos Aires nightclub in 2013.
The singer had been given 60 days by Judge Facundo Cubas to respond to a summons to appear before an Argentine court to answer queries. The court claimed there was enough evidence against the singer to ask him about an alleged criminal assault of Diego Pesoa by Bieber’s bodyguards outside the INK nightclub on November 9, 2013, during the South American leg of his Believe Tour.
Pesoa alleged he was kicked and punched by Bieber’s security on the singer’s order, after they escorted the covered-up star 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, as the Inquisitr reported at the time, it is questionable whether alleged evidence of Bieber — allegedly indicating he didn’t want his photos taken –- rises to an order to his guards to allegedly attack the photographer.
At the time, Judge Cubas requested Argentina’s Interpol branch’s help 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.
Under Argentine law, Bieber could have faced anything from one month to six years in prison if he had been convicted on a charge of causing injuries.
Fast forward to April 29, while in Rome to shoot his cameo for Zoolander 2, Bieber was questioned by police in connection with Argentina’s then active arrest warrant. At the time, Italian newspapers said the heartthrob was quizzed at the five-star Hilton hotel where he was staying but was not arrested.
Somewhat confusingly, TMZ claimed police who swarmed the hotel were merely there to talk to the “Where Are U Now” singer about crowd control and security arrangements.
As was noted, Interpol does not issue arrest warrants itself, but can send out a Red Notice informing member states that a suspect is wanted in a given country.
Back in April, E! News reported that Bieber’s name wasn’t on the Argentinian Interpol list. The outlet added that an insider said of the singer, “He was questioned but [it] wasn’t as serious as they made it seem.” The source went on to say, “he is still in Rome and having a great time.”
As of now, Justin Bieber does not have an Argentine arrest warrant hanging over his head.
Whether that means Pesoa’s alleged assault case is closed is unclear at present.
Update: The UK’s Guardian reports an anonymous court official said the charges against Bieber — for allegedly sending his bodyguards to attack the photographer — haven’t been dropped, despite the international arrest warrant being revoked. The court is still expected to set a date for questioning in the case.
[Images via Getty Images]