A$AP Rocky performs “I’m Not the Only One” during the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California. File photo/Reuters
The trial of US rapper A$AP Rocky on a charge of assault will go into what could be its final day on Friday with the 30-year-old and two of his entourage facing up to two years in prison if they are found guilty.
Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained on July 3 in connection with a brawl outside a hamburger restaurant in Stockholm on June 30 and later charged.
The case has drawn huge media attention, particularly since US President Donald Trump began advocating on behalf of Mayers, asking Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free him. Sweden’s judiciary is independent of the political system and Lofven has said he will not influence the rapper’s case.
The prosecution says that following an argument, Mayers threw a 19-year-old man to the ground, after which he and two of his entourage, kicked and punched him.
The alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari, said during testimony he was also hit on the head with a bottle after he and a friend followed Mayers’s group to get back a pair of headphones.
Mayers and his companions pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial on Tuesday.
In testimony on Thursday, Mayers said he had tried to avoid the fight.
“We pleaded, we begged them. We said ‘We don’t want to fight y’all. Please stop following us’,” Mayers told the court.
He said he had acted after the alleged victim and his friend attacked the rapper’s bodyguard.
Unless the trial is extended, Friday will see further witnesses cross-examined before lawyers and the prosecutor sum up their arguments. The judge will then decide whether Rocky and his companions should remain in custody.
A verdict is likely to come at a later date.
A legal expert at the Prosecution Authority said that if the judge decides not to detain Mayers further, he will be free to leave the country.
Releasing him from custody could indicate that Mayers will be found not guilty or that a guilty verdict would lead only to a suspended sentence or a prison sentence shorter than the time the rapper has already been in a cell.
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 30-year-old performer, producer and model from Harlem, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been detained since July 3 along with two members of his entourage in connection
US President Donald Trump has again denied allegations that he sexually assaulted a television show host and magazine columnist in the 1990s, saying "she's not my type".
Lil Nas X is done riding ‘Old Town Road’ and now embarks a new one, as his debut EP ‘7’ reveals a star behind the meme.
AstraZeneca said an independent safety committee conducted a specific review of the blood clots in the US trial, as well as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), which is an extremely rare blood clot in the brain, with the help of an independent neurologist.
A third wave of coronavirus infections is likely to hit India by October, and although it will be better controlled than the latest outbreak the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least another year, according to a poll of medical experts.
He added, “What we experience today will become something of the past tomorrow. Joining university and getting a degree was the ultimate end of our parents, but I assure you that education will never come to an end."
In a flash of a second, the men started to climb the pipe attached to the building forming a human chain.