Justin Bieber charged over graffiti in Rio, Brazil

Justin Bieber

Police in Brazil have charged Justin Bieber with illegally spraying graffiti in Rio de Janeiro.

The Canadian singer could be fined after pictures appeared in local media to show him painting a wall.

Defacing buildings is a crime in Brazil punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine.

However officials described the case involving Justin Bieber as "a minor offence". There was no immediate comment from his management team.

In a statement, Brazil's civil police force said Justin Bieber had been charged with "defacing a building or urban monument by graffiti or other means".

'Avoiding fans'

Brazilian media reported and published photos appearing to show the 19-year-old singer spraying graffiti on the wall of the abandoned Hotel Nacional.

The pictures showed him wearing a red cap and army pants - with a security guard on one side, a police car parked on the other.

It emerged that Bieber had authorisation from the City Hall to paint at a sports facility nearby, but members of his entourage claim he chose a different location to avoid his fans.

Police argued the consent did not extend to any other places.

This closes a trip in which the teenage idol has been accused of swearing at photographers, was seen leaving a seedy night club and was kicked out of Rio's most prestigious hotel, the BBC's Julia Caneiro in Rio says.

According to the Globo TV network, Bieber flew out of Brazil on Wednesday afternoon on a private jet and went to Paraguay, where he was scheduled to perform.

It is not the first time Justin Bieber has been involved in controversy this year. In March, he said sorry to fans for a late start at a concert in London.

In April, he caused outrage with his message in a guestbook at the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, saying he hoped the Holocaust victim would have been a fan - "a belieber".

Frank's diary, written during the two years the teenager and her family hid from the Nazis in occupied Amsterdam, made her a symbol of the suffering of Jews during World War II.

And in July, Bieber was criticised for touching the biggest trophy in North American ice hockey, the Stanley Cup.

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