An Argentinian magistrate has called on Interpol – the international police organisation rather than the New York postpunk band – to use all “necessary means” to summon Justin Bieber to a Buenos Aires court. The singer has been accused of assault by a photographer, and magistrate Facundo Cubas said Bieber will face arrest if he does not submit his testimony about the incident within the next 60 days.
State-run news agency Télam reported that Cubas ordered Argentina’s Interpol branch to locate Bieber and inform him of the allegations against him. If the singer does not then return to the country, the magistrate threatened to issue an international warrant for his arrest. If Bieber does return, a guilty verdict could result in up to a year in jail.
The controversy dates to alleged events on 9 November 2013, when Bieber and his entourage were partying at Buenos Aires’s Ink nightclub. Diego Pesoa, a photographer, claims he was chased and beaten after trying to take photos of the star; although prosecutors have yet to lay charges, they wish to question Bieber about what happened that night.
“Bieber has to come to Argentina, and it won’t be to sing,” Matias Morla, Pesoa’s lawyer, told C5N TV. He claims Bieber ordered bodyguards to attack the paparazzo and Pesoa’s resulting injuries required hospital treatment.
Bieber has yet to respond to the allegations. Earlier this week he attended a prayer meeting and Bible study with the Pittsburgh Steelers NFL team andpurchased an $11,385 Jesus face pendant at a New York jewellery shop. “Any artist has ebbs and flows in their life and career,” Bieber’s mentor, Usher, said of the 20-year-old’s recent troubles. “I think the story is just begun.”