STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A young person instructed a Swedish court docket on Tuesday that he was kicked and punched by U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky and two of his entourage throughout an altercation exterior a hamburger restaurant in Stockholm final month.
The 30-year-old performer, producer and mannequin, whose actual title is Rakim Mayers, pleaded not responsible to a cost of assault on the primary day of a trial that prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to intervene on the artist’s behalf.
Mayer was detained on July three in reference to a road brawl on June 30 and later charged with assault inflicting precise bodily hurt.
Outlining his case utilizing movies from safety cameras and witnesses’ cellphones, prosecutor Daniel Suneson mentioned that following an altercation in central Stockholm, Mayers threw 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari to the bottom, after which he and two of his entourage kicked and punched him.
The prosecutor mentioned a bottle was used to hit Jafari, who suffered cuts and bruises.
Jafari instructed the court docket he was pushed and grabbed by the neck by Mayers’ bodyguard exterior a restaurant and adopted the rapper’s group to get again his headphones. He mentioned he was then hit on the top with a bottle and kicked and punched whereas on the bottom.
“We didn’t need to struggle,” Jafari mentioned. “I mentioned to them I used to be a pleasant man, not a foul man. I didn’t contact any of those three.”
Earlier, Mayers’ lawyer instructed the choose his consumer, sitting in jail garments of a inexperienced T-shirt and trousers, pleaded not responsible to the cost of assault and had acted in self protection.
“Rakim Mayers thought that these individuals .. had been attacking his bodyguard and it’s on these grounds he subsequently acts,” lawyer Slobodan Jovicic instructed the court docket.
Mayers shall be questioned when the trial resumes on Thursday.
Mayers has mentioned Jafari provoked him and his two companions, who’re additionally charged with assault and pleaded not responsible. If convicted on the Stockholm district court docket, they may resist two years in jail.
The case has drawn large media consideration, forcing the trial to be moved to a safe courtroom the place greater than 50 journalists in addition to Mayers’ mom watched proceedings.
Mayers’ detention earlier than his trial prompted offended responses from followers and different celebrities, together with Kim Kardashian and Rod Stewart.
Trump had requested Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to assist free Mayers, and tweeted messages saying he was upset in Lofven and demanding: “Deal with People pretty!”
Trump had mentioned he would personally vouch for Mayers’ bail. Sweden doesn’t have a bail system.
Sweden’s judiciary is unbiased of the political system and Lofven has mentioned he is not going to affect the rapper’s case.
U.S. diplomat Robert C. O’Brien was in court docket on the request of the White Home.
“Probably the most essential duties of the Division of State and U.S. embassies and consulates overseas is to supply help to U.S. residents who’re detained overseas,” a spokeswoman on the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm mentioned.
Swedish fan Ivan Waliullah mentioned: “I’m right here to indicate assist,” including he thought the three had been being charged unfairly.
Mayers, greatest recognized for his track “Reward the Lord”, was in Stockholm for a live performance. He has canceled a number of reveals throughout Europe attributable to his detention.
Earlier than his arrest, Mayers uploaded movies on Instagram of the moments earlier than the alleged assault, saying two males had been following his crew and he didn’t need any hassle.
Mayers shot to fame along with his 2011 debut “Dwell.Love.A$AP”. His newest album “Testing” reached No. four on the Billboard 200 charts on its launch final 12 months.
The trial may run into a 3rd day on Friday. The decision is predicted at a later date.
Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Anna Ringstrom, further reporting by Simon Johnson, Writing by Simon Johnson and Anna Ringstrom; Modifying by Janet Lawrence