The district court in Stockholm, Sweden was teeming with media, family members, friends and fans as A$AP Rocky’s trial began Tuesday morning. The rapper, along with two members of his entourage, were brought before the judge, where all three pleaded not guilty to assault charges.
Swedish prosecutors, however, allege that the three men “deliberately, together and in agreement” attacked Mustafa Jafari in an incident that occurred on June 30. Included in their case are more than 500 pages of court documents—including photos and descriptions of the injuries sustained by Jafari —and detail how Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, and the other men kicked the 19-year-old while he was on the ground and hit him with a bottle.
But the alleged bottles the three men used are “proving key” in the case, as local reporter Markus Karlsson revealed, that “police didn’t find any fingerprints or DNA on the glass of the bottle.”
“The plaintiff had cuts on him, and glass was found at the scene. The severity of the crime, and potential penalty, would increase if the prosecutor can show a bottle was used and was intentional,” he tweeted.
Rocky has maintained that he acted in self-defence since he was first taken into custody on July 3. His case has since gained international intention, even earning the support of President Donald Trump along with celebs like Kim Kardashian, Diddy and Justin Bieber tweeting about the locked-up rapper.
Thank you @realDonaldTrump , @SecPompeo, Jared Kushner & everyone involved with the efforts to Free ASAP Rocky & his two friends. Your commitment to justice reform is so appreciated 🙏🏼🤞🏼 https://t.co/Ym1Rzo5Z6c
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) July 18, 2019
Larissa Kennelly from BBC News reported that prior to the start of the trial, a lawyer defending one of Rocky’s friends claimed to have new evidence that will include testimony from two new witnesses and believes it’s “significant enough to change the case’s direction” for all three men. According to Kennelly, Jafari is asking for 139,700 Swedish kronor in compensation, which is just over $12,000£, or nearly $20,000. Journalist Maddy Savage described Rocky, who wore a green t-shirt and earpiece that provides translation of the proceedings, as “really engaged” during the trial, “sitting up straight in his chair, looking at court documents displayed on a projector.” The rapper’s mother, Renee Black, was also in court for the proceedings,
Karlsson took to Twitter to report that videos were presented as evidence, including CCTV footage and one from Rocky’s own Instagram account.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of two years in prison but Karlsson spoke with experts who “doubt that would happen in this case,” adding that if they are convicted, “the sentence might be a few months behind bars, and there’s a good chance ASAP would have served most of it already in detention.”
The trial continues Tuesday and is expected to last three days, with a break tomorrow before returning Thursday with testimonies, and a ruling scheduled for Friday.