ASAP Rocky defends case in Sweden court

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ASAP Rocky has been giving evidence at his trial in Sweden, where he’s accused of assaulting a 19-year-old Afghan refugee. He told the court: “There’s a million things that we could have did, but we decided to walk away.” The US rapper, real name Rakim Mayers, is on trial with two members of his entourage after a fight in Stockholm. Along with Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers, he has pleaded not guilty they say they were acting self defence. ASAP Rocky answered questions from the prosecution. He told the court that he and team had felt threatened by the people they clashed with. The rapper told the court: “These guys were, you know, their behaviour was very weird and we didn’t know what to expect. It got a little scary for us. I couldn’t help but assume that these guys were under the influence of some type of drugs.” He told the court his security guard tried lots of “tactics” to scare away the alleged victim but it didn’t work. So that’s why they all walked away in the first instance. ASAP Rocky was shown footage of him holding a bottle. The rapper didn’t deny he is holding a glass bottle in his hand but says he picked it up briefly before putting it back down. The prosecution claims this was used in the fight, but the US star has insisted he didn’t use it to hurt the alleged victim.

ASAP Rocky is being questioned in Swedish and given a translation into English via an earpiece. The gallery reserved for media and the public to watch the hearing through a glass screen is packed. ASAP Rocky’s mother and the father of David Rispers, one of the two other suspects, are amongst those squeezed into small wooden seats with flip-top tables. Staff from the US embassy, including the Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, are sat next to them. All of them are listening attentively to an interpreter live-translating the questions. Throughout his testimony so far, the rapper has been trying to make it clear that he lives a celebrity lifestyle, which means he’s been followed, threatened and robbed in the past, and that this affects how he thinks and acts in certain situations. He’s also repeatedly talked about how he and his entourage aren’t from Sweden and didn’t know what to expect from the country or how to call for help. All of this seems to back up the arguments already made by the rapper’s lawyer, that when he got into the fight in Stockholm at the end of June, he was acting in self-defence. Yesterday, the prosecution are going through a detailed 522-page preliminary report, which contains extensive photographs of injuries the alleged victim suffered. The alleged victim, who is not being named by media, has claimed damages of roughly £12,000 (139,700 Swedish Krona).

Earlier he gave evidence in the trail and told the court he was looking for a friend and first approached the rapper and his entourage to ask “if they knew where his mate was.” When asked by ASAP Rocky’s lawyer if he knew the rapper was famous he said: “Honestly not.” The alleged victim told the court that a witness later told him that ASAP Rocky was famous, but this was after the fight. The 19 year old alleged victim had an interpreter with him in court today. The prosecution allege that ASAP Rocky used a weapon claiming the injuries are consistent with the use of a bottle or a similar blunt object Much of the trial today has focused on analyzing videos and whether bottles had been used as weapons. The videos included one published by US celebrity news site TMZ, where the rapper can be seen throwing a young man to the ground. Martin Persson, Defence lawyer of Bladimir Corniel who is accused alongside ASAP Rocky went through frames of video of the alleged assault red circles were drawn around the hands of ASAP Rocky and other three men where it appears that they are not holding bottles. Then men could face up to two years behind bars, if found guilty. Five more witnesses are expected to share their versions of events before the trial wraps up. The trial continues.

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