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Cirque du Soleil founder held in Tahiti in marijuana case

PARIS (AP) — The founder of world-renowned circus Cirque du Soleil has been detained in French Polynesia in a drug-trafficking investigation. A French police official told The Associated Press that Guy Laliberte is expected to appear before a judge Wednesday in the territory’s capital of Papeete, on the island of Tahiti.

His detention also was confirmed by Lune Rouge, a Montreal-based company headed by Laliberte. It said Laliberte is being questioned about cannabis grown for personal use on his private island of Nukutepipi.

The company says Laliberte is a medical marijuana user, but he “categorically denies” involvement in the sale or trafficking of controlled substances. Local broadcaster Polynesie 1 says police detained a person close to Laliberte recently for drug possession and found photos of cannabis plantations in the person’s cellphone.

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