U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky to testify in assault trial
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[August 01, 2019]
By Johan Ahlander
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - U.S. rapper A$AP
Rocky will give testimony in a Swedish court on Thursday on the second
day of his assault trial after he and two of his entourage were accused
of punching and kicking a teenager.
On day one of the trial on Tuesday, 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. His lawyer told the court
he acted in self-defense.
Mayers was detained on July 3 in connection with a brawl outside a
hamburger restaurant in Stockholm on June 30 and later charged with
Before Thursday's session began, Mayers entered the court room in
handcuffs, wearing the Swedish Prison and Probation Service's green
clothes and with his hair in a pony tail.
Mayers' mother was, as on Tuesday, in the court room, wearing an A$AP
On Tuesday, 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
Jafari on Tuesday 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.
Jafari will continue his testimony on Thursday, after which Mayers will
take the stand.
Mayers' and the other two defendant's lawyers began the day in court by
contesting Jafari's 140,000 Swedish crown ($14,500) damages claim.
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U.S. rapper ASAP Rocky attends the Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2013
collection during New York Fashion Week, September 8, 2012.
REUTERS/Andrew Burton/File Photo
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' defense and U.S. President Donald Trump asked Swedish
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free Mayers.
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 canceled several shows across Europe due to
The trial is scheduled to end on Friday. The court will then
announce a date for the verdict and say whether Mayers must remain
in custody until then.
If convicted, the accused could face up to two years in jail.
(Reporting by Johan Ahlander; writing by Johan Ahlander and Anna
Ringstrom, Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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