Justin Bieber has reportedly been ordered to attend a deposition in Argentina in person for a case in which the 21-year-old superstar is accused of sending his (then) bodyguards to allegedly rough up a paparazzo in Buenos Aires in 2013.
Argentine news media report that the presiding Judge Alberto Baños issued an order last week for the Canadian singer to attend the deposition, rather than testify via a video link as Bieber’s lawyers reportedly requested.
According to the screenshot of a letter tweeted on February 27 by Matias Morla, the lawyer for the complainant, paparazzo Diego Pesoa, Bieber’s legal team had requested that the pop star provide a preliminary statement to the court through a video conference arrangement.
Spanish news agency EFE (via La Nación), previously reported that Judge Fabiana Palmaghini initially authorized Bieber’s lawyers’ request, but that ruling was later overturned by Judge Banos on the grounds that “there is no basis to preclude the appearance of the accused” in Buenos Aires.
La Nación reports the Argentine court ordered Bieber to be deposed in person because his lawyers did not offer “economic” or “physical” reasons why he couldn’t go to Argentina. The court ruling also notes Bieber’s forthcoming deposition will “preserve…immediacy” between the judge and the accused. That wording may be a reference to physical proximity.
Back in July 2015, the court revoked an arrest warrant that was issued in April against Bieber for an alleged attack on Pesoa by the pop star’s bodyguards outside a Buenos Aires nightclubb on November 9, 2013, during a stop on the singer’s Believe tour. Pesoa alleges he was kicked and punched by Bieber’s bodyguards on the singer’s orders, after they escorted the covered-up star to a waiting van outside the INK club.
In November 2014, Bieber was given 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 superstar to ask him about his alleged ordering of the alleged assault of Pesoa by his bodyguards.
Speaking to the Associated Press in November, Judge Cubas alleged, “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 TheInquisitr reported, it is questionable whether alleged evidence of Bieber allegedly indicating he didn’t want his photos taken, can be taken as an actual order to his security to allegedly attack Pesoa.
After Bieber failed to attend the deposition post-summons, Judge Banos ordered the “immediate detention” of Bieber and bodyguards Hugo Alcides Hesny and Terrence Reche Smalls, in a resolution released on April 10, 2015.
On April 10, Judge 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,”
Fast forward past the revocation of that arrest warrant last July and the new court order for Bieber to attend his deposition in person, regarding charges against him in the alleged assault case.
Whether Bieber’s lawyers will accept or appeal the court’s ruling ordering the singer to testify in Argentina remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, it’s been a historic past few weeks for Justin. After winning his first Grammy last weekend with Skrillex and Diplo their collaboration “Where Are U Now,” the trio performed the song at the Los Angeles ceremony.
Then, at the Brit Awards days later, Bieber delivered a rendition of “Love Yourself” with James Bay before thrilling the crowd with a fiery performance of “Sorry.” The singer also won the Best International Male Award on the night.
On Tuesday, March 1, Justin officially turns 22, after kicking off his birthday celebrations at a star-packed Bel Air mansion, where he partied with Puff Diddy, Hailey Baldwin, Kourtney Kardashian, and more.
The Inquisitr will continue to follow updates in the Argentina case and the progress of this latest deposition order.
[Images via Kevin Mazur/Getty Images]