A Swedish prosecutor charged rapper A$AP Rocky with assault over a fight in Stockholm last month, in a case that has drawn the attention of fellow recording artists as well as U.S. President Donald Trump.
A$AP Rocky has been in custody since July 3 as authorities investigate a fight he was allegedly involved in on June 30 before appearing at a music festival.
On Thursday, prosecutor Daniel Suneson said in a statement that he filed charges against the Sundress rapper and two others “suspected of assault causing actual bodily harm, having come to the conclusion that the events in question constitute a crime and despite claims of self-defence and provocation.”
A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayer, and the other two suspects will remain in custody until trial.
The prosecutor has recommended that the Stockholm District Court set aside three days for the trial, which defence lawyer Slobodan Jovicic said is expected to start on Tuesday. The charges can carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
WATCH: Lawyer for A$AP Rocky says they’re ‘very sad’ over assault charge, maintains innocence
Videos published on social media appear to show a person being violently thrown onto the ground by A$AP Rocky, 30. The rapper asserts that it was self-defence.
Suneson said that he concluded otherwise after studying videos available to investigators.
“It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet,” he said. “In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
The video was published to Stockholm news outlets, and the rapper posted videos of his own to his Instagram account.
In the video, the man who the rapper allegedly threw is seen harassing A$AP Rocky and his entourage on the streets of Stockholm.
WATCH BELOW: Lawyer for A$AP Rocky confirms investigation into alleged fight has been dropped
Suneson added that there were initially two injured parties in the case, but the allegations concerning one of them were dropped due to “insufficient supporting evidence” and the charges relate to only one alleged victim. That person has not been identified.
A counter-allegation was made by the artist’s bodyguard against one of the alleged victims, but that case was closed earlier this week, the prosecutor said.
Defence lawyer Jovicic said “Rakim Mayers feels that he acted in self-defence, he is claiming that he is innocent, and in that perspective, he, of course, is very sad.”
In the Goldie rapper’s videos, two young men can be seen following A$AP Rocky and his entourage even after his security tells them to leave.
On Instagram, he described the people following him as “drug addicts” that “are not my fans.”
WATCH BELOW: Rapper A$AP Rocky to be held in Sweden for up to two more weeks
“We don’t know these guys and we didn’t want trouble, they followed us for 4 blocks, and they were slapping girls butts who passed, give me a break,” A$AP Rocky captioned the video he posted on July 2.
In the video, the rapper repeatedly tells the pair of young men that he does not want to fight them.
“We don’t wanna fight y’all, we not trying to go to jail … It’s OK, bro, chill,” A$AP Rocky can be heard saying in the video.
(WARNING: The video below contains explicit language.)
He posted another video to Instagram, writing: “I’m innocent. They trynna arrest me out here now, SMH .”
At one point in the video, one of the men following A$AP Rocky appears to hit the rapper’s security guard with a large pair of headphones.
“Hits security in face with headphones then follow us,” A$AP Rocky wrote.
(WARNING: The video below contains explicit language.)
On Saturday, Trump said he spoke with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven about A$AP Rocky and “offered to personally vouch for his bail,” something that is not available under Swedish law.
WATCH BELOW: Trump, Melania says they are working on release of A$AP Rocky from Sweden
Lofven’s press secretary, Toni Eriksson, later said that the two leaders had a “friendly and respectful” conversation in which Lofven “made certain to emphasize the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts” and stressed that the government cannot and will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.
“There’s been a lot of support from a lot of different people, and Rakim Mayers is of course very thankful for everybody that has reached out,” Jovicic said. He added that “it’s been a very hard time for him.”
Sweden’s ambassador to Washington, Karin Olofsdotter, told Swedish public broadcaster SVT that she has been forced to call off her summer holiday to deal with the Wild for the Night rapper’s case. She has had meetings with members of the U.S. Congress, who she said struggled to understand that one can be detained in Sweden without having the opportunity to be released on bail.
Olofsdotter and Jovicic both rejected speculation that racist motives might have played a role in A$AP Rocky’s arrest.
“No, no, no. I think that we have not a racist society here,” Jovicic said. “I don’t see that angle at all.”
Sean (Diddy) Combs, Justin Bieber and Kris Jenner are some of the celebrities who have publicly expressed support for Rocky.
The 30-year-old rapper’s supporters have also started a Change.org petition for his freedom.
The petition, titled #JusticeForRocky, was created by A$AP Mob and alleges A$AP Rocky and his colleagues have been denied their right to counsel.
“Upon being detained, Rocky was denied his request to counsel, which is in violation of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which Sweden is a signatory,” the petition reads.
It continues: “Everyone has the same rights to be treated fairly upon detainment and should be given fair and equal access to such rights. Since, he has been allowed to visit with a U.S. Embassy consult an attorney, but only in the presence of Swedish officials. It is extremely troubling and worrisome that the laws are not being applied equally in these circumstances.”
The petition also says that A$AP Mob filed “an appeal with the Swedish Supreme Court to have Rocky released from the inhumane conditions and the clear violation of human rights,” but the filing was rejected, which means he will “remain in prison for two weeks.”
“The conditions of the facility are horrific. Some of the inhumane conditions Rocky and his colleagues are facing at the Stockholm Detention Center include 24-7 solitary confinement, restriction of amenities for the most basic of human functions, access to palatable and life-sustaining food as well as unsanitary conditions,” the petition alleges.
WATCH BELOW: A$AP Rocky release from jail petition
It also states that A$AP Rocky and the other three people arrested could remain in jail until a trial is scheduled for “mid- to end of August.”
“To keep Rocky and his colleagues in jail pending the lengthy trial proceedings is a punishment before the fact, with no due process. Join us in the #JusticeForRocky movement and demand that Rocky be released from Swedish officials immediately,” the petition reads.
— A$AP MOB (@ASAPMOB) July 9, 2019
Prison governor Fredrik Wallin spoke to People and discredited A$AP Mob’s description of the prison.
“The Swedish Prison and Probation Service has a policy not to comment on individual cases or prisoners,” Wallin told the publication. “However, we can refute the picture of prison Kronoberg which is described in the article in TMZ. To exemplify, prison staff and prisoners drink the same municipal tap water.”
—With files from The Associated Press
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