US rapper A$AP Rocky, 30-year-old rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, will appear in a Stockholm court on Thursday to give his account of a June street brawl, in an assault case that has stirred diplomatic tensions and outraged fans.
He was arrested on July 3 along with three other people following the fight in Stockholm on June 30.
The rapper’s bodyguard was later released.
Last week, prosecutor Daniel Suneson decided to sue Mayers and two others for assault, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.
When the trial began on Tuesday, the rapper, who spent weeks in detention, pleaded not guilty to assault, claiming that he had acted in self-defense.
Much of the trial focused on video analysis and whether bottles were used as weapons during the alleged assault.
The videos include one published by the International newspaper, where the rapper throws a young man to the ground and the target apparently several times while he is on the ground.
The court also shown videos posted on the artist’s own Instagram, purporting to show the lead up to the brawl, according to the prosecution those videos are heavily modified.
Mayers’ lawyer Slobodan Jovicic argued that the rapper’s actions were the result of the plaintiff and his friend showing “a threatening, aggressive and deeply provoking behaviour”.
“He admits that he threw the plaintiff on the ground, that he stepped on his arm and punched or pushed his shoulder,” Jovicic told the court, saying it was a case of “self-defence”.
On Thursday, the trial will resume at 9:00 a.m. (07:00 GMT) and the court will hear Mayers testimony. The trial is scheduled to end on Friday with final arguments.
Once the trial is over, the court will announce when it can reach a verdict and decide whether the defendant should be arrested in the meantime.
Mayers was arrested while the case was being investigated as a ” flight risk.”
American fans, artists and congressmen campaigned for his release.
An online petition called #JusticeForRocky has collected more than 640,000 signatures.
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17 November, 2019