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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Arsenal star held over rape claim
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie
Robin van Persie moved to London last year
Arsenal star Robin van Persie has been arrested in Holland on suspicion of rape, the Dutch authorities have said.

The 21-year-old striker was held on Monday following the alleged assault in the city of Rotterdam over the weekend.

The Public Prosecutor's Office of Reijnmond told BBC News police could hold the footballer for three days before charging or releasing him.

Van Persie moved to the north London club from Dutch side Feyenoord for 2.75m last summer.

Arsenal Football Club said it had no comment on the situation.

International debut

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said: "Robin van Persie was arrested on Monday suspected of [a] rape incident that took place at the weekend.

"We cannot reveal any details of what happened as the Dutch legal system is different to that in England."

He can be held for three days, then a further 14 if a judge allows it. If convicted he would face a maximum sentence of 12 years.

Van Persie has hired Dutch lawyer Abraham Moszkowicz who said his client was innocent.

I can see myself staying at Arsenal for many years
Robin van Persie

Last season Van Persie made his senior international debut for Holland and scored 10 goals for Arsenal as they went on to win the FA Cup and finish runners-up in the Premiership.

At the weekend he stressed his desire to stay at Arsenal long-term and to learn from fellow Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp.

"I can see myself staying at Arsenal for many years," he said.

"My contract has three years to run and, of course, we will have to see about it.

"I can learn a lot from Dennis and it is great he has signed a new contract."




SEE ALSO:
Van Persie makes Arsenal pledge
12 Jun 05 |  Arsenal


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