A$AP Rocky Pleads Not Guilty as Assault Trial Begins
A$AP Rocky’s trial got underway in a Swedish court on Tuesday (July 30).
Nearly a month after being detained, the rapper—real name Rakim Mayers—and two other suspects pleaded not guilty to assault following a street brawl in the capital, Stockholm. Swedish prosecutors allege that the men “deliberately, together, and in agreement” attacked 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari.
They say that they were acting in self-defense after being harassed by two men, including Jafari, during the June 30 incident.
According to CNN, the prosecution alleges that Mayers threw Jafari on the ground, before he and two others kicked and punched him. Jafari claims he was hit over the back with a bottle.
Crime scene photos presented in court showed a broken glass bottle on the street and a glass fragment matching the bottle stuck onto Rocky’s sweater. The prosecutor, Daniel Suneson, conceded that no fingerprints or DNA had been found on the bottle.
Jafari claims that he and his friend followed Rocky and his associates because he threw his headphones at the group and wanted them back.
“He admits that he threw the plaintiff on the ground, that he stepped on his arm and punched or pushed his shoulder,” Rocky’s lawyer Slobodan Jovicic said in court, adding that his client acted in “self-defense,” according to The Washington Post.
The prosecution says the video published on Rocky’s Instagram account was edited to remove footage of his bodyguard shoving and grabbing the plaintiff before the assault. They supported their claim by showing text messages between members of Rocky’s team that said the video needed to be “cleaned up a bit” before posting to Instagram.
The case has gathered so much attention that Tuesday’s hearing had to be held in a special secure courtroom. Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, and dozens of journalists attended the first court session.
Jafari is seeking more than $14,000 in damages. If convicted, Rocky faces up to two years in prison.