US rapper A$AP Rocky claims self-defence in Stockholm incident

VIDEO: REUTERS

STOCKHOLM (DPA) - A lawyer for US rapper A$AP Rocky told a Swedish court that his client acted in self defence during a violent altercation in Stockholm that resulted in battery charges against him.

A$AP Rocky, 30, and two co-defendants went on trial on Tuesday (July 30) over last month's street brawl in the Swedish capital that has stirred diplomatic tensions.

"He admits to throwing the plaintiff on the ground, stepping on his arm and hitting or pushing his shoulder," said Slobodan Jovicic, one of the defendant's lawyers, according to a live blog from broadcaster SVT.

But Jovicic said his client was not guilty and went on to mount a case of self-defence, arguing the three defendants attacked the 19-year-old plaintiff because they felt threatened.

The prosecutor argued that the rapper committed a crime, and as evidence played five different videos of the June 30 incident that showed the trio apparently harassing the 19-year-old victim before beating him.

He added that the video footage released by A$AP Rocky himself on social media had been doctored.

A central issue in the case is whether a bottle was used to injure the defendant.

A medical examination showed that the victim sustained cuts during the incident, but the rapper's lawyers argued that glass shards may have been embedded in their client's shoe when he stepped on the victim.

The 19-year-old testified that two of the men had attacked him with broken glass.

 
 

A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested after the incident in central Stockholm.

The case gained greater prominence when US President Donald Trump took to Mayers' defence, unsuccessfully lobbying the Swedish government to allow the rapper to be released on bail, which is not possible in Sweden.

Trump also accused Sweden of letting down the African-American community in the US. Mayers is black.

The trial is set to continue on Thursday with a verdict expected on Friday.