US rapper and two members of entourage accused of attack in Swedish capital on 30 June
A$AP Rocky has pleaded not guilty to assault at the start of his trial in Sweden in a case that has strained international relations after celebrity entertainers rallied to the US rappers cause and Donald Trump publicly demanded his release.
Prosecutors allege the platinum-selling artist, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and two members of his entourage deliberately, together and in agreement attacked the alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari, in the Swedish capital on 30 June.
The men, who say they were responding to harassment and provocations, have been in custody since 3 July and face up to two years in prison if the charges, for assault causing actual bodily harm, are upheld. Their trial continues on Thursday and is due to close on Friday.
He admits that he threw the plaintiff on the ground, that he stepped on his arm and punched or pushed his shoulder, Mayers lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, told the court, but insisted that it was a case of self-defence.
Mayers, 30, dressed in prison uniform of a green T-shirt and trousers, sat near his mother, Renee Black, who appeared to have been crying, in the Stockholm district court but was not called to speak.
Entertainment industry figures including Kim Kardashian West, Justin Bieber, Post Malone and Shawn Mendes have backed a #JusticeForRocky campaign. The US president called the Swedish prime minister, Stefan Lfven, to ask that the rapper be freed on bail a system that does not exist in Sweden.
The public prosecutor, Daniel Suneson, showed the court phone and CCTV footage that he said showed Mayers and the two other men kicking and beating Jafari and hitting him with whole or part of a glass bottle.
Jafari is claiming SEK 139,700 (12,050) in damages for the alleged attack, arguing the perpetrator had shown great ruthlessness and cruelty. Suneson said the incident started outside a hamburger restaurant on Htorget in the city centre.