American rapper A$AP Rocky has been charged with assault after being held in Swedish custody since June 30.
The musician, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was involved in a brawl in Sweden’s capital while on tour.
Slobodan Jovicic, Mayers’s lawyer, has argued that his client’s actions were all in self-defense.
"We think it was self-defense, but the prosecutor has chosen to go with the injured party's version," Jovicic said, adding that his client is "very disappointed." (CNN)
Mayers and his entourage were followed and harassed by two men on the streets of Stockholm, which prompted them to respond with force.
Swedish prosecutor Daniel Suneson said that Mayers physically assaulted one of the men. A video posted by TMZ shows the 30-year-old rapper grabbing the man and throwing him to the ground where he proceeds to punch and kick him.
Suneson said that "despite claims of self-defense and provocation," Mayers's actions amount to a crime given the bevy of evidence.
"It is worth noting that I have had access to a greater amount of material than that which has previously been available on the internet. In addition to video material, the injured party's statements have been supported by witness statements," Suneson said. (CNN)
According to court documents, the rapper justified the brawl by saying that his bodyguard "tried to calm things down" and that "we were three against two." He allegedly told the police, "I got him down on the ground. I hit and kicked."
Mayers' situation has received international attention and outcry. Celebrities from Justin Bieber to Kim Kardashian West have all called for his release. Even President Trump has personally offered to vouch for the rapper's bail, tweeting that he plans to reach out to the Swedish prime minister.
Just spoke to @KanyeWest about his friend A$AP Rocky’s incarceration. I will be calling the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky. So many people would like to see this quickly resolved!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2019
Swedish authorities, however, have said that they will not be affected by international pressure.
"The Swedish judicial system is completely independent and does not take into consideration outside pressure from politicians or others," a spokesman for the Swedish prosecution authority told CNN on Sunday. (CNN)
Mayers is still in custody as he awaits his trial beginning Tuesday.