Rapper ASAP Rocky's trial in Sweden begins, pleads not guilty but could face up-to two years in prison - The Sauce
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Rapper ASAP Rocky’s trial in Sweden begins, pleads not guilty but could face up-to two years in prison

American rapper ASAP Rocky has pleaded not guilty to assault charges in a Swedish court on Tuesday (30.07.19) on the first day of a trial.

Known for his song ‘Fuckin Problems’, the 30-year-old performer, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained almost a month ago following a street brawl in the capital Stockholm on June 30th 2019 as reported by The Sauce.

According to CNN, on Tuesday morning, Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson read out the charges against the artist and two other men in his entourage. Suneson said they assaulted the victim by kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle while he lay on the ground.

Magnus Stromberg, a lawyer for the victim, said his client is seeking 139,700 Swedish krona in damages (about $14,600).

The victim told the court he suffered injuries to his arm and head in the fight, as well as broken ribs. “I felt that they would beat me to death,” he said.

The victim described being “hit” and “stabbed” with broken glass, but Suneson said police did not find any fingerprints or DNA on the bottle.

Jovicic referred to transcriptions from the footage, when ASAP Rocky could be heard appearing to try to cool tensions: “Listen, listen. We don’t wanna fight you all. We’re not trying to go to jail.”

ASAP Rocky’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, maintains his client did not commit any crime. The rapper asserts that he was acting in self-defence when he threw the victim to the ground and stepped on his arm. Both members of A$AP Rocky’s crew, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, also deny any wrongdoing.

“Please bear in mind that A$AP Rocky is an international, very well-known artist,” Jovicic said, adding that his client is used to being approached in the street, but that these men were “deeply provoking” and that he acted out of fear.

The Stockholm District Court was packed with international press and ASAP Rocky’s family members, including his mother, Renee Black, who sat still, staring straight ahead as the charges were readout.

As the prosecutor detailed the case against ASAP Rocky, the rapper’s fans were gathered in a nearby room to watch the proceedings unfold on a big screen.

President Trump has appealed for ASAP Rocky’s release, and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Robert O’Brien, was in court on Tuesday to “support the members of the family and the American citizens.”

The US President previously said on Twitter that he had spoken with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and “offered to personally vouch for (ASAP Rocky’s) bail or an alternative.”

But Swedish law doesn’t have a bail system and after Swedish authorities refused to release the musician, Trump tweeted: “Give ASAP Rocky his FREEDOM. We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem!”

Several high-profile celebrities including Kim Kardashian West, musical artists Kanye West, Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, and actress Jada Pinkett Smith have also thrown their support behind the rapper, petitioning for his release using the hashtag “JusticeForRocky.”

The trial, at the Stockholm District Court, is scheduled to continue on Thursday and Friday. If convicted, ASAP, who was charged with assault last week as reported by The Sauce, could face up to two years in prison.

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