Will A$AP Rocky Be Returning To Sweden?
After spending almost a month in a Swedish jail, A$AP Rocky was released and is back home in the US. For weeks, the rapper’s fate was hanging in legal limbo as he waited for his turn in the court system to address assault charges. No verdict has been handed down yet, so does this mean Rocky will have to return to Sweden to hear the judge’s final decision?
A recap of events
On July 3, the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested in Stockholm and was kept in custody for the June 30 incident. He and two members of his entourage were charged with assault for fighting a man, Mustafa Jafari, in the street. Witness video showed them hitting Jafari and Rocky throwing him across the street. To counter that view, the rapper posted his own videos outlining what happened before the fight, saying that the man and his friend kept harassing him. He has claimed self-defense since day one.
Four people were arrested, including Jafari who was indicated as the victim in the fight. Swedish prosecutors spent weeks conducting their investigation and refused requests to let ASAP Rocky free until his trial date. Charges were dropped against Jafari but upheld against Rocky and his associates.
Since his incarceration, POTUS Donald Trump has attempted to intervene, and numerous celebs like Justin Bieber, Diddy, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Cara Delevigne have expressed their support to “Free Rocky.” The Swedish prime minister repeatedly warned Trump that the justice system was separate from government and they could not influence the case. However, Trump sent his hostage envoy, Robert O’Brien, to Sweden during the rapper’s trial, The New York Times reports.
This past week, a three-day trial included testimony from the victim, eyewitnesses, A$AP Rocky, his bodyguard, and other members of his team. Both Rocky and the victim expressed that they were acting in self-defense. The rapper was facing up to two years in jail if convicted, but it was thought the judge would be lenient on him since he’s a first-time offender.
As noted here, there are no juries in Swedish trials, and verdicts are handed down by a judge. In Rocky’s case, the judge opted to release him pending a verdict.
Why A$AP Rocky will probably stay out of Sweden
Although no verdict has been issued and Rocky has returned to the States, it is unlikely he will go back to the country. According to ABC, the judge will announce the official verdict and sentence on August 14. Rocky’s lawyers stated that artist is not required to be present for the proceeding, but he is willing to complete his sentence.
During his testimony, Rocky told the court that he feared for his safety after being the victim of a stabbing and several robberies while working and being around strangers. In one of those previous incidents, the perpetrator was on drugs, stabbed Rocky in the face and also stabbed police officers. Those experiences made him wary of people, and he said to the court, “I couldn’t help but assume that these guys were under the influence of some type of drug.”
Rocky’s co-defendants, Bladimir Corniel and David Rispers were also released from jail along with him. Family and friends celebrated the judge’s decision and Rocky thanked fans, friends, and everyone else for their ongoing support.
Trump sent out a tweet saying, “A$AP Rocky released from prison and on his way home to the United States from Sweden. It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!” Meanwhile, some of his musical peers have vowed not to perform in Sweden, and it’s possible that A$AP Rocky won’t be headlining anymore shows there either.