Why Swedish Prosecutors Are Sending A$AP Rocky to Trial

After three weeks of investigation, Swedish prosecutors have decided to press charges against rapper A$AP Rocky (also spelled ASAP Rocky). In spite of pleas, public support, and an attempted intervention by American president, Donald Trump, he will be heading to trial. He’s been in jail in Sweden since early this month.

This all stems from a fight involving a Swedish local, A$AP Rocky, and members of his entourage. On July 3, the rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested in Stockholm and has been in custody ever since for the June 30 incident. He turned himself in voluntarily and was being held for suspicion of assault.

A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky | Taylor Hill/WireImage

Prosecutors officially announce charges

During the initial round of arrests, the alleged victim was also taken into custody after video footage showed him and a friend accosting Mayers and his companions. At one point, the man struck Mayers’ bodyguard with some headphones. In the shots, the rapper’s entourage repeatedly asked the two men to leave them alone and stop following them.

The day before he was arrested, the rapper posted the two videos on his social media accounts saying that he acted in self-defense. A video shot by a witness shows Mayers fighting in the street and throwing a man across the pavement.

The prosecutor disagrees with the self-defense argument and is charging him with assault. According to Swedish news site, The Local, Prosecutor Daniel Suneson issued a statement about the case on Thursday:

“Today I have pressed charges against the three suspects for criminal assault, because in my judgement what has happened amounts to a crime, despite the objections about self-defense and provocations.

I have had more material to consider than what has been available on the internet. In addition to the videotaped material there is support for the plaintiff’s account through witness interrogations.”

The plaintiff being referred to in the statement is the alleged victim. On Monday, Swedish authorities dropped assault charges against the man after determining he was acting in self-defense when he hit the bodyguard. They said the bodyguard grabbed him by the throat first, prompting the hit.

A$AP Rocky is heading to trial along with two others in his camp for assault, although the prosecutor was originally aiming for the higher charge of aggravated assault.

When is the trial and how much time can A$AP Rocky get if convicted?

According to Reuters, the artist is facing a maximum of two years in prison if convicted. It’s been previously reported that his attorney, Slobodan Jovicic, was expecting a formal indictment, but they still want to maintain that the rapper acted in self-defense.

Following the news, Jovicic stated that Mayers is sad about it and has been having a hard time while incarcerated. Although that is the case, he is grateful for the outpouring of support from fans, fellow artists like Shawn Mendes and Kanye West, members of Congress, and US President, Donald Trump.

Reportedly, he’s been held in isolation for the majority of his incarceration, and according to friends, staying in abysmal conditions. The trial is set to begin on Tuesday, July 30, and prosecutors are requesting three days for it.

It should be noted that Swedish criminal trials are not conducted with juries, but instead by judges only. The outcome of A$AP Rocky’s trial (and his associates’) will depend on evidence, plaintiff testimony, witness accounts, and of course, defense. Details on how the Swedish criminal court works can be found on the court website.