A$AP Rocky has pleaded not guilty to assault at the start of his trial in Sweden.
Prosecutors allege that A$AP Rocky, whose legal name is Rakim Mayers, and two members of his entourage “deliberately, together and in agreement” attacked the alleged victim, Mustafa Jafari, in the Swedish capital on 30 June, according to The Guardian. Mayers appeared before the Stockholm district court dressed in a green shirt and trousers prison uniform. He was seated next to his grieving mother.
Jafari who said “the perpetrator had shown great ruthlessness and cruelty” is claiming SEK 139,700 (£12,050) in damages for the alleged attack. The prosecutor, Daniel Suneson, showed the court phone and CCTV footage that he said showed Mayers and the two other men kicking and beating Jafari and hitting him with whole or part of a glass bottle.
Suneson even showed the court police photographs of bloodstains and broken glass left in the street. Also cuts and injures the plaintiff sustained that caused him to incur a hospital bill. However, A$ AP’s lawyer argued that Jafari had initiated the violence and that the suspects had not broken any bottles, but that broken glass may have ended up on their shoes, causing the victims’ cuts.
A$AP and his associates argue that their actions were self-defense and that they were responding to harassment and provocation. On the other hand, the prosecutor said the clips posted to the rapper’s Instagram had been edited to remove evidence the bodyguard grabbed Jafari before the fight. He also presented text messages between members of Mayers’ entourage, indicating the footage uploaded to Instagram had been “cleaned up a bit.’
Suneson said in the initial brawl, A$AP Rocky and his entourage were approached by the plaintiff and another man who was “argumentative and perceived as intrusive and difficult,” outside of a restaurant.
This led to a confrontation in which a bodyguard “first pushed away the plaintiff, then lifted him up by the throat.” Afterward, Jafari’s headphones were broken and thrown on to a restaurant awning before he started demanding his headphones back and was “beaten, thrown to the ground and beaten again.”
Lawyer for A$AP claims to have something up his sleeve to prove there is no way to tell bottles were involved. The trial is set to continue on Thursday.