Van Persie held on suspicion of rape

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The Independent Online

Arsenal were silent last night as their striker Robin van Persie remained in police custody in the Netherlands after he was arrested on suspicion of rape.

Arsenal were silent last night as their striker Robin van Persie remained in police custody in the Netherlands after he was arrested on suspicion of rape.

The Dutch international, 21, was arrested in Rotterdam after an incident alleged to have taken place at the weekend. He can be held for a maximum of three days without charge.

A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor said: "He is suspected of rape and our system is different to England. He is in police custody pending investigation. The alleged rape took place last weekend and he was arrested yesterday." The spokeswoman denied that the arrest was made at a nightclub in the city.

The alleged incident is understood to have taken place on Saturday night and the alleged victim complained to police at the weekend. Prosecutors must decide within the next few days whether to present the case to a judge if they want to hold Van Persie in custody for longer.

His lawyer, Abraham Moszkowicz, said: "The fact that he is locked up does not mean that they have a case against him. And I don't say that lightly. I wouldn't be surprised if Mr Van Persie is released quickly."

Van Persie was bought for £2.75m for the start of last season. He was not a first-team regular, but he impressed in his 14 starts.

He scored 10 goals in his first season, but questions were raised about his temperament. The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, was upset with his challenge on Kieran Richardson in a Carling Cup tie, but the Football Association took no action. He was also sent off against Southampton at St Mary's for two wild tackles. He started to show his promise towards the end of the season, scoring twice in the FA Cup semi-final win against Blackburn Rovers.

Liverpool's Steve Finnan has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. The full-back was involved in a collision which resulted in the death of a pensioner. Finnan must appear at a police station on 29 June.

In Croatia, Davor Suker was questioned for more than three hours by police after his business partner was murdered at the weekend. The Croatian striker, who played for Arsenal and West Ham, was interviewed after the shooting of Dino Pokrovac. The pair had worked together as agents.

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