A court in Argentina has indicted Justin Bieber for allegedly sending his bodyguards to beat up a photographer and take his camera equipment outside a Buenos Aires nightclub three years ago.
Court clerk Soledad Nieto confirmed the decision to the Associated Press on Thursday. She said Judge Alberto Banos did not issue an arrest warrant and the Canadian pop idol can appeal the court decision, which was signed Wednesday and surfaced late in the day.
Argentine photographer Diego Pesoa alleges he was chased down and beaten on Nov. 9, 2013, by Bieber’s bodyguards outside the INK nightclub, where the singer and his entourage partied during his South American tour. Pesoa also said the bodyguards took some of his camera equipment.
Pesoa’s lawyer, Matias Morla, celebrated the judge’s decision, saying that he had acted without being pressured by Bieber’s fame, and instead “treated him like anyone else.”
Morla also said that the judge has ordered the preventive seizure of about $28,000 from Bieber to cover potential legal costs. To collect the money, Morla said he would ask the judge to request US authorities to embargo some of Bieber’s goods in Los Angeles.
An email message sent to Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, was not immediately returned Thursday.
Bieber apologized during his Argentina trip for defiling the national flag on stage and got into trouble with police elsewhere during the tour for allegedly spraying graffiti in Brazil and Colombia.
In June, Bieber said on his Twitter account that he would like to play in Argentina on his Purpose Tour but “until the legal conditions change there I can’t.”
Hundreds of his fans, known as “Beliebers,” then marched in Buenos Aires carrying signs saying “Argentina Needs Justin” and “Right To Music,” asking the judge to let the singer perform in Argentina.
Bieber has not returned to answer questions about the alleged attack. His tour goes to Latin America in 2017 but there are no dates published for Argentina.