US rapper Freddie Gibbs appeals extradition from France
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PARIS, June 28 — US rapper Freddie Gibbs has lodged an appeal against his extradition from France to Austria where he stands accused of rape, a charge which he denies, his lawyers said yesterday.
The 34-year-old rapper from Gary, Indiana was arrested on June 2 shortly before a planned concert in the southwestern French city of Toulouse, one of a string of European tour dates.
Gibbs, whose real name is Fredrick Tipton, was the subject of a European arrest warrant issued on May 31 for an alleged rape in Austria last year.
According to Austrian media, citing prosecution sources, Gibbs is accused of drugging two women who came backstage after a concert in Vienna last July, before taking them back to a hotel where they were allegedly raped by the rapper and one of his security agents.
Gibbs, who categorically denies the rape allegations, was released on €50,000 (RM226,158) bail last week.
A court ordered his extradition last Thursday.
“Mr Freddie Gibbs has appealed,” said his American lawyer Theodore Simon.
“To be clear and accurate, Freddie Gibbs has not, we reiterate, Freddie Gibbs has not been charged with any offense. An investigation is continuing,” he said in a statement.
“Mr Gibbs remains hopeful that a thorough and searching investigation will reveal the actual facts, including the absence of any scientific, physical, or credible evidence implicating him, thereby paving the way for his exoneration and return to his family and one-year old child.”
The singer was touring Europe to promote his new album Shadow of a Doubt when he was arrested, and had to cancel shows in the French cities of Marseille and Strasbourg as well as in Porto, Portugal, plus the next stage of his tour in Canada.
“Mr Gibbs will continue to respect the conditions of his freedom while categorically denying the charges against him which emerged one year after the supposed acts,” his French lawyer Michael Malka said in a statement. — AFP