Rapper A$AP Rocky to testify in Sweden assault trial

      Published on Thursday, 1 August , 2019      979 Views     
Rapper A$AP Rocky to testify in Sweden assault trial

The US rapper A$AP Rocky is expected to give testimony in a Swedish court on Thursday, on the second day of an assault trial that has sparked international attention and prompted a war of words between Donald Trump and the Scandinavian country.

The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault causing actual bodily harm on the first day of the trial on Tuesday.

He and two of his entourage were accused of punching and kicking a teenager. His lawyer told the court he acted in self-defence.

Mayers was detained on 3 July in connection with a brawl outside a hamburger restaurant in Stockholm on 30 June and later charged with assault.

On Tuesday, the prosecutor Daniel Suneson showed video from security cameras and witnesses’ mobile phones and said, following an altercation, Mayers threw 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari to the ground, after which he and two of his entourage kicked and punched him.

The prosecutor said a bottle was used to hit Jafari, who suffered cuts and bruises.

Jafari told the court he was pushed and grabbed by the neck by Mayers’ bodyguard outside the restaurant and followed the rapper’s group to get back his headphones. He said he was then hit on the head with a bottle and kicked and punched while on the ground.

If convicted, the accused could face up to two years in jail.

The case has drawn huge media attention, forcing the trial to be moved to a secure courtroom.

Celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Rod Stewart, have leaped to Mayers’ defence. Donald Trump has called for the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Lofven, to help free Mayers, tweeting last week that Sweden should “give A$AP Rocky his freedom”. On Tuesday, Trump sent the US special presidential envoy for hostage affairs to Stockholm to monitor the court proceedings.

Sweden’s judiciary is independent of the political system and Lofven has said he will not influence the rapper’s case.

Mayers, best known for his song Praise the Lord, was in Stockholm for a concert. He has cancelled several shows across Europe due to his detention.

The trial could run into a third day on Friday. The verdict is expected at a later date.

Category Culture | 2019/08/01 latest update at 12:30 PM
Source : The Guardian | Photocredit : Google
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