Kanye West pleads not guilty to vandalism and battery charges

The rapper has pleaded not guilty to charges relating to a scuffle with a photographer at a Los Angeles aiport last year

Kanye West has pleaded not guilty to charges of vandalism, battery and grand theft that stem from an altercation with a photographer at Los Angeles International airport last year.

West, 31, was arrested in September 2008 after allegedy being involved in a fracas that resulted in the vandalism of a photographer's camera, said to be worth as much as $10,000 (£5,709). The rapper's road manager Don Crawley has also been charged with assault, theft and vandalism.

Footage showing two men grappling with a photographer and appearing to smash his camera equipment as they are about to pass through airport security was released on the US gossip website TMZ.com. A spokesman for the airport, Marshall Lowe, confirmed that following the altercation West and his bodyguard were taken to a nearby police station for questioning. Both men were later released on bail.

The rapper did not appear in court yesterday when his lawyer entered the not guilty plea and no comment was made on the case either by him or on the rapper's behalf. The next hearing is scheduled for 15 July.

If found guilty, West could face up to two and a half years in jail, while road manager Crawley could face up to five years.


Rosie Swash

The GuardianTramp

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