A$AP Rocky took the stand today in his highly publicized assault case in Sweden and stressed how he and his crew wanted no problems with the alleged victims.
As proceedings continued Thursday (Aug 1) Rocky, born Rakim Mayers stated how he feared for his life after Mustafa Jafari, 19, and another man followed his crew. Despite multiple attempts to ease the situation, Rocky testified how the men continued to follow him, prompting him to act in self- defense.
“After a while, my security guard started pushing him (victim) away, begging him to leave, go from there,” Rocky said per The New York Daily News. “Me and my crew told them that, listen, don’t go where we are going, go the other way, we don’t want any trouble.”
Rocky was arrested July 3 and charged with assault for the incident that took place in late June. Two other men in Rocky’s crew were also arrested but his bodyguard was released. Because Sweden doesn’t have a bail system, Rocky has remained in jail for his trial. If found guilty, he faces up to two years in jail.
During the cross-examination, Jafari claimed he approached Rocky and his entourage after his headphones broke an alleged earlier altercation he had with Rocky’s security guard.
But Mayers’ lawyer Slobodan Jovicic called the plaintiff and his friend’s actions “a threatening, aggressive and deeply provoking behavior.” Footage shared by Rocky and TMZ online shows the rapper throwing the plaintiff on the ground, which claims is self-defense.
Rocky’s mother, Renee Black, also attended the proceedings. “This is a nightmare,” Black was quoted by Swedish media, stating she’s sure that her son is innocent, the Associated Press reports.
It was reported earlier this week that Robert C. O’Brien, US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, was sent to attend the trial. While Rocky is not a hostage, many of claimed the presence of O’Brien can show America’s lack of respect for Sweden’s due process system.
President Donald Trump advocated for Rocky’s release in a tweet last month telling Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven that he would “personally vouch” for the rapper’s bail (Again, Sweden doesn’t have a bail system). Löfven reportedly told Trump that officials cannot interfere with the legal system.
“Sweden and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven have explained and emphasized to the White House and President Trump respectively, the complete independence of the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts,” Mikael Lindström, the country’s acting press secretary, said in a statement to Twitter.
The @SwedishPM’s press secretary Mikael Lindström just sent me this statement re: @realDonaldTrump’s tweets about @asvpxrocky: “In Sweden everyone is equal before the law.” #ASAPRocky pic.twitter.com/WNNmBXcw4O
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) July 25, 2019
“Very disappointed in Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for being unable to act,” he tweeted. “Sweden has let our African American Community down in the United States. I watched the tapes of A$AP Rocky, and he was being followed and harassed by troublemakers. Treat Americans fairly!”
The trial is scheduled to conclude on Friday with witness testimonies also happening today. Mayers will remain in custody as he was considered a “flight risk.”