A$AP Rocky Pleads Not Guilty to Assault Charges in Sweden

A$AP Rocky, who has been charged with assault in Sweden following a confrontation in Stockholm on June 30, entered a plea of not guilty at the start of his trial Tuesday.

The American rapper, who maintains that he was acting in self-defense when he punched a man on the street, has been in custody in the Swedish capital since July 3.

On the opening day of the highly publicized trial, Swedish prosecutors said that A$AP Rocky and two members of his entourage “deliberately, together and in agreement” attacked 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari by “kicking and beating him with a whole or part of a glass bottle while he lay on the ground,” according to CNN. Prosecutors said they had more than 500 pages of documents backing up their case.

Although the assault charges carry a possible prison sentence of two years, prosecutors are demanding 139,700 Swedish krona ($14,634) in damages. Jafari is seeking an additional 139,700 Swedish krona in damages for his injuries and lost income.

Earlier this month, A$AP Rocky released video footage of the altercation on his Instagram account, which he said proved that he was acting in self-defense. However, prosecutors allege that the video had been edited to leave out damning details and that text messages between the rapper and his companions had mentioned “cleaning up” the footage. The prosecutor said that one of the clips was edited to omit the moment when the rapper’s “security guard grabbed the victim by the neck and lifted him off the ground,” according to CNN.

A$AP Rocky was due to perform across Europe in July, notably at the popular Sonar Festival in Barcelona, but canceled the remainder of his tour dates on July 10 as he was being detained in a Swedish jail.

The case has drawn worldwide media attention and an extraordinary intervention from Donald Trump, as well as support for A$AP Rocky through social media from various celebrities, including Kim Kardashian West, Post Malone and Shawn Mendes, and Jada Pinkett Smith, who are using the hashtag “JusticeForRocky.”

The next step in the trial is expected to take place Thursday with witness testimony.

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