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ASAP Rocky pleads not guilty to assault in Sweden



American rapper A$AP Rocky pleaded not guilty to assault charges in a Swedish court on Tuesday, on the first day of a trial that has grabbed the attention of US President Donald Trump and the world’s media.

Best known for his song “Praise the Lord,” the 30-year-old performer, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained almost a month ago following a street brawl in the capital Stockholm on June 30. If convicted, A$AP Rocky, who was charged with assault last week, could face up to two years in prison.
On Tuesday morning, Swedish public prosecutor Daniel Suneson read out the charges against the artist and two other men in his entourage. Suneson said they assaulted the victim by kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle while he lay on the ground.
The victim told the court he suffered injuries to his arm and head in the fight, as well as broken ribs. “I felt that they would beat me to death,” he said.
A$AP Rocky’s lawyer, Slobodan Jovicic, maintains his client did not commit any crime. The rapper asserts that he was acting in self-defense when he threw the victim to the ground and stepped on his arm.
“Please bear in mind that A$AP Rocky is an international, very well-known artist,” Jovicic said, adding that his client is used to being approached in the street, but that these men were “deeply provoking” and that he acted out of fear.
Both members of A$AP Rocky’s crew, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, also deny any wrongdoing.
Magnus Stromberg, a lawyer for the victim, said his client is seeking 139,700 Swedish krona in damages (about $14,600).
The Stockholm District Court was packed with international press and A$AP Rocky’s family members, including his mother, Renee Black, who sat still, staring straight ahead as the charges were readout.
President Trump has appealed for A$AP Rocky’s release, and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Robert O’Brien, was in court on Tuesday to “support the members of the family and the American citizens.”
Source: CNN