STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky will appear in a Swedish court on Tuesday for the first day of his trial for assault that has angered U.S. President Donald Trump.
FILE PHOTO: A$AP Rocky performs “I’m Not the Only One” with Sam Smith (not pictured) during the 42nd American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo
The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained on July 3 in connection with a street brawl in Stockholm in the early hours of June 30, and later charged with assault causing actual bodily harm.
Mayers has said he is innocent and that the plaintiff provoked him and two companions who have also been charged with assault. If convicted at Stockholm district court, they could face up to two years in jail.
Mayers’ lawyer Slobodan Jovicic has said the rapper would plead not guilty at the trial.
His detention before his trial has prompted angry responses from fans as well as from several artists and other celebrities ranging from Kim Kardashian to rocker Rod Stewart.
Trump had asked Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven to help free Mayers, and later tweeted messages saying he was “very disappointed” in Lofven and demanding: “Treat Americans fairly!”
Trump had said he would personally vouch for Mayers’ bail. Sweden does not have a bail system.
Lofven has said he will not influence the rapper’s case. Sweden’s judiciary is independent of the political system.
Mayers, best known for his song “Praise the Lord”, was in Stockholm for a concert while on tour. He has had to cancel several scheduled shows across Europe due to his detention.
Before his arrest, Mayers uploaded videos on Instagram of the moments before the alleged assault, saying two men were following his team and that he did not want any trouble.
Mayers shot to fame with his 2011 debut “Live.Love.A$AP”. His latest album, “Testing”, reached the No. 4 spot on the Billboard 200 charts on its release last year.
Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Alison Williams
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