A$AP Rocky trial: Swedish prosecutors ask for at least a 6-month jail sentence
The highly-publicized assault trial of A$AP Rocky wrapped Friday with Swedish prosecutors asking the court to convict the 30-year-old American rapper and consider imposing at least a six-month jail sentence.
In closing arguments, the prosecutors said that the case involved too much violence to support A$AP Rocky’s argument of self-defense during a confrontation with 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari in Stockholm on June 30. Prosecutors allege that the musician and two companions “deliberately, together and in agreement” hit and kicked Jafari, including with a bottle.
However, the rapper’s lawyer said in closing remarks that nothing was premeditated or coordinated about the confrontation. He also referred to footage showing A$AP Rocky standing on the alleged victim’s arm and said it wasn’t the same as kicking.
A$AP Rocky and two members of his entourage have been in custody in Stockholm since July 3. They pleaded not guilty earlier this week to assault charges.
Several witnesses, including the rapper’s bodyguard, gave testimony in court Friday, which marked the trial’s third day.
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The bodyguard said that Jafari approached the group twice and was told to go away multiple times. He said Jafari, whom he described as “hostile,” “swung with [a] closed fist” but that the “punch didn’t land,” according to media reports emanating from the courtroom. Jafari then “threw headphones at him,” the bodyguard said, adding that A$AP Rocky stepped in to protect him because he was outnumbered.
A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, had told the court Thursday that “everything seemed to be going fine” when two men approached him and his companions. One of the men, Jafari, started talking to his security guard. “Next thing I know, my security guard was lifting one of them,” the rapper testified, adding that the situation “got a little scary.”
Jafari also took the stand Thursday.
Besides A$AP Rocky’s bodyguard, the other witnesses questioned Friday included a friend of Jafari’s who was with him the day of the alleged assault. He said he saw A$AP Rocky “throw” his friend, according to reports from the courtroom.
Although A$AP Rocky has posted videos on Instagram that he says vindicate him, prosecutors say that the footage had been selectively edited to leave out damning details.
A verdict is expected soon. The case, which has attracted worldwide attention and support for A$AP Rocky from many celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West and Jada Pinkett Smith, also received an extraordinary intervention from Donald Trump, who sent the top U.S. official in charge of hostage affairs to attend the trial in Stockholm.
Because of his detention, A$AP Rocky had to cancel a flurry of European shows in July.
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