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A$AP Rocky Charged With Assault Over Stockholm Street Fight
The rapper’s trial is slated to begin in Sweden on Tuesday.
Rapper A$AP Rocky has been formally charged with assault in relation to a June 30 street brawl in Stockholm, Sweden that led to the rapper’s arrest and, to some degree, international backlash.
Swedish officials made the announcement on Thursday, with prosecutor Daniel Suneson stating that the charges apply to the 30-year-old rapper as well as two others.
“I have today commenced criminal proceedings against the three individuals 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-defense and provocation,” he said.
Suneson has recommended that the Stockholm District Court anticipate a three-day trial for A$AP Rocky and his two companions, who will all remain in custody until then.
The trial is expected to begin on Tuesday, the rapper’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, said, according to the Associated Press. If convicted, A$AP Rocky faces a maximum sentence of two years behind bars.
He and his team have maintained his innocence, with the “Fashion Killa” artist posting a series of Instagram videos before his arrest claiming that two men were following and harassing him and the people he was with. One video shows A$AP Rocky telling the men, “We don’t want to fight you all, we’re not trying to go to jail.”
However, video posted by TMZ shows the eventual fight that did break out, with A$AP Rocky hitting an unnamed man while he was on the ground.
Following A$AP Rocky's arrest, his legal team launched a petition demanding that he be set free and claiming that A$AP Rocky, as well as the two men who were arrested alongside him, were acting in self-defense.
Following news that prosecutors have decided to press charges, the defense stands by that claim, CNN reports.
“We think it was self-defense, but the prosecutor has chosen to go with the injured party's version,” Jovicic said, adding that his client is “very disappointed” with that decision.
Suneson defended his office’s decision in his initial release Thursday, stating, “In reaching this conclusion, I have studied the videos made available to the inquiry. 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. In addition to video material, the injured party’s statements have been supported by witness statements.”
Though two alleged victims were involved in the altercation, the charges only pertain to one, as the other allegations were dropped “due to insufficient supporting evidence,” Suneson said.
News broke earlier this week that one of the men who claimed to have been assaulted by A$AP Rocky and company would not face any charges for his alleged role in the fight. Suneson addressed this development as well, stating, “A counter allegation was also made against one of the injured parties by the artist’s bodyguard. This case was investigated and closed on 22 July.”
A$AP Rocky’s arrest has drawn criticism from a number of celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who reportedly reached out to President Donald Trump in an effort to get the rapper released from jail. However, despite Trump stating that he would “personally vouch” for A$AP Rocky, the Swedish prime minister seems unlikely to intervene, according to NBC News.
“I will explain that the Swedish judicial system is independent,” Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Löfven said in response to news that Trump planned to call him to discuss the subject. He added, “In Sweden, everyone is equal before the law, and this includes visitors from other countries.”