Swedish prosecutor won’t appeal A$AP Rocky verdict

Entertainment
A$AP Rocky

FILE – This Feb. 9, 2019 file photo shows A$AP Rocky at Pre-Grammy Gala And Salute To Industry Icons in Beverly Hills, Calif. A Swedish court on Wednesday Aug. 14, 2019 found American rapper A$AP Rocky guilty of assault for his role in a June 30 street brawl in Stockholm says he and his two bodyguards “assaulted the victim by hitting and kicking him as he lay on the ground.”(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Swedish prosecutor said Tuesday he won’t appeal a verdict against American rapper A$AP Rocky and his two bodyguards who were found guilty of assault for a June 30 street brawl in Stockholm.

Daniel Suneson said the Stockholm District Court “has dismissed the plea of self-defense, something that I believe was important to clarify in this particular case.”

A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, had pleaded self-defense and said he had tried to avoid a confrontation with two men who he said were persistently following his entourage. One of them picked a fight with a bodyguard, Mayers said during his trial.

On Aug. 14, they were convicted of assault and given “conditional sentences,” meaning they won’t serve prison time unless they commit a similar offense in Sweden again.

Mayers, who was in Sweden as part of a European performance tour at the time of the assault, told court that 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari and his friend refused to go away despite several appeals, and claimed they appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

A full-scale brawl ensued shortly afterward. The court concluded Mayers and his bodyguards — David Rispers, Jr. and Bladimir Corniel — beat and kicked Jafari while he was on the ground.

Testifying in court, Jafari said his memory of the night was confused because of the blows to his head during the brawl. He told police earlier he had gotten angry when his headphones were broken during the initial argument with a bodyguard.

Jafari claimed the rapper pushed him to the ground, and photos showed the alleged victim’s cuts, bruises and blood-stained clothes.

The three, who spent nearly a month behind bars before being released Aug. 2, returned to the United States.

The artists said after the verdict that he was “of course disappointed” by the ruling. According to Swedish news agency TT, Slobodan Jovicic, the Grammy-nominated artist’s Swedish defense lawyer, has not yet decided whether to appeal.

The trio also had been ordered to a pay a total of 12,500 kronor ($1,310) in compensation to the victim.

The issue also led to a U.S.-Swedish diplomatic spat.

U.S. President Trump intervened on behalf of the rapper while he was jailed and called Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on July 20, offering to personally guarantee his bail, but the Swedish leader said he couldn’t interfere in a legal case.

Despite Trump’s intervention, Mayers was not immediately released. Trump also sent Ambassador Robert O. Brien, the U.S. special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, to Sweden to monitor the court proceedings. Trump later cheered the release of Mayers and his bodyguards.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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